The animal health industry, like several other health-related industries, is continuously growing and expanding research-based and technical knowledge on the best practices and methods to use to improve the well-being of animals.
At the 50th Annual Conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, held Sept.
14–16, 2017 in Omaha, Neb., veterinarians and many other professionals from across the country and the globe obtained updated from industry experts in the conference program geared toward the 2017 theme, “What We Know That Isn’t So.”
A record attendance of 1,432 individuals including 384 students, 137 American Association of
Small Ruminant Practitioner (AASRP) members, 32 graduate students, five veterinary technicians, 150 accompanying persons, and 447 exhibitor representatives from 125 booths. Total attendance was 2,029 from 19 countries. The 50th AABP Annual Conference was once again held jointly with the AASRP.
AABP Immediate Past President Mark Thomas, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, Lowville, N.Y., says, “After a week packed full of continuing education opportunities, committee and board meetings and plenty of social and networking time, we are proud to announce the largest attendance of any conference in the history of AABP. The AABP Board of Directors spent considerable time discussing important topics for the successful future of our organization, but we were also efficient enough to take part in plenty of program activities.”
Thomas explains that the student members had a huge impact overall, especially with the addition of a surprise event that pitted the 2017 Quiz Bowl Champion Team against the AABP Executive Committee, of which the team from The Ohio State University handily won.
“From the huge success of the auction to the introduction of the new faces of our staff members, it was certainly a meeting not to be missed,” Thomas continues. “I look forward to continued involvement as AABP Past President and other opportunities in the years to come, and I encourage all veterinarians interested in bovine medicine to become involved in our organization. We are the future of the profession.”
A total of $211,500 in scholarships and travel stipends were awarded at this conference in addition to other awards. Adding to this year’s success were in-depth preconference seminars, a new product showcase in the Exhibit Hall, live and silent auctions supporting the Amstutz Scholarship Fund, and over 130 runners registered for the 5th Annual 5K Stampede Fun Run sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., which added $7,000 to the Amstutz Scholarship Fund. The live auction, held in the evening of September 15, reaped over $83,000, and combined with the silent auction, garnered just over $100,000.
“A highlight for me was the Friday evening auction with the FoG contingent (Friends of Chuck
Guard) stealing the show along with contributions from the Big 10 Bull Buyers and the Southern
Crescent Bull Syndicate for the Mark Hopkins Bronze Bull Statue this year, all for the Amstutz
Scholarship Fund,” says incoming AABP President Mike Apley, DVM, PhD, Kansas State University.
The AABP Foundation also reaped rewards from the $50 for 50 Years campaign which encouraged members to donate $50 to the Foundation for the 50th Annual Conference. From preregistration and through the AABP conference, several thousand dollars were raised for the
Foundation which supports scholarships and clinical research.
Apley explains that many of the attendees were very appreciative of the sessions and everything else going on around them. “The contents of the meeting were due to the hard work of the program committee and their coordinated sessions that resulted in a great meeting.”
“When I would walk out of a session during break time and witness multiple discussions about the presentation, all while holding a milk or chocolate milk in one hand, you know it was a very provocative and thought-provoking session,” Apley continues. “I was so pleased to see the great attendance toward the end of the conference on Saturday afternoon and a big attendance at Practice Tips and the Saturday evening gathering,” Apley adds.
The continued industry education included preconference seminars, clinical forums, scientific sessions (including general, beef, dairy, practice management, student and more), student case presentations, research summaries, poster presentations, practice tips and a special BQA session with the National Milk Producers Federation.
AABP Executive Vice President K. Fred Gingrich, II, DVM, noted that information on a new recent graduate conference to be held in February of 2018 will be forthcoming.
In addition to the conference, AABP has been active in producing business management webinars for bovine veterinarians through its Veterinary Practice Sustainability Committee and has offered hands-on bovine embryo transfer seminars in conjunction with Virginia Tech. AABP has also played a leadership role in conversations around issues of importance to members and animal agriculture including animal welfare, antimicrobial use and resistance, and prudent drug use.