AABP Conference 'Gathers The Herd' for Networking and Continuing Education
The American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) 2022 55th Annual Conference Sept. 22-24 in Long Beach, Calif. provided a beautiful setting to “gather the herd” for beef and dairy veterinarians, students and veterinary technicians who were able to network and gain excellent continuing education. Preconference seminars were held earlier in the week for in-depth instruction on a variety of topics.
This was the first conference since 2019 that was in-person only.
“The meeting in Long Beach gave us the opportunity to personally thank all of our members for efforts over the last year,” says now-AABP Past President Dr. Pat Gorden. “AABP has made tremendous strides toward addressing mental health and diversity, equity and inclusion in our organization and the veterinary profession as a whole. However, there is still much work to be done.”
Gorden notes that many in attendance connected with keynote speaker Dr. Vernard Hodges, veterinarian and star of Nat Geo Wild’s “Critter Fixers: Country Vets” television show who spoke on diversity, equity and inclusion and “expanding the herd”, which dovetailed on the “Gathering the Herd” conference theme. “His message was that we all must work toward helping young people find the path to a veterinary degree if we are going to sustain bovine veterinary practice,” adds Gorden.
Hodges gave an inspiring talk on how he managed to overcome a poor, rural Georgia upbringing, and how he became exposed to veterinary medicine which led him on his path as a successful practice owner, motivational speaker and TV show personality. His goal is to “engage the herd”, and show minority and under-represented youngsters what veterinarians do and how they also can find a way to join the profession. His presentation is posted at http://aabp.org/meeting/2022/key_note.mp4 for public viewing.
The 2022 conference gave in-person attendees up to 22.50 hours of continuing education on beef, dairy, clinical stills, practice management, joint beef/dairy sessions, student/new graduate and other sessions, plus preconference seminars and clinical forums. Awards, a scholarship auction, a 5K and $249,500 in scholarships were also high points of the conference.
“It was wonderful to ‘gather the herd’ in a beautiful location for the 55th AABP Annual Conference,” says AABP Executive Director Dr. K. Fred Gingrich, II. “I am thankful to our volunteers, leaders and staff for putting on a great event that provides relevant CE to bovine veterinarians, networking opportunities, and collaboration to continue to improve the health, productivity and welfare of the cattle in our care.”
“Our conference theme, ‘Gathering the Herd’, after a long and miserable pandemic, was a nod to wanting to reconnect with friends and colleagues, and make new friends and colleagues, all while getting some excellent quality continuing education that can be taken home and immediately implemented in practice,” states current AABP President and 2022 Program Chair Dr. Sandra Godden. “And I believe we were very successful in achieving this aim. We had more than 800 participants, including over 200 students, and AABP members from several countries including Canada, Columbia, Deutschland, Germany, Israel, México, St. Kitts-Nevis and the United Kingdom.”
New initiatives discussed at conference were the first ever salary survey currently being conducted by AABP for bovine veterinarians of all types, and work with the Veterinary Hope Foundation and the AABP Virtual Support Group for virtual mental health and well-being support for members.
Smartphone technology was heavily used at the 2023 conference with attendees having the ability to scan QR codes for schedules, auction item viewing, donation opportunities and more. The Slido app was also used for attendees to ask questions during presentations and for presenters to conduct polls on the fly during their presentations.
Gingrich shares these stats from the 2022 AABP Annual Conference:
• 817 registrants including:
o 213 veterinary students
o 150 members of the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners
o Offered 9 preconference seminars and 7 clinical forum breakfast talks and a symposium for academic veterinarians
o 10 countries represented
o 78 exhibitors with 225 exhibitor representatives
o 110 5K Stampede participants
Introduction of the 2023 AABP vice president candidates, Drs. Jessica Gernhard and Dr. Callie Willingham gave members a chance to get to know their potential leadership.
Find more conference recaps and photos on the AABP Facebook page. #AABP2022
Next up will be the 6th Annual AABP Recent Graduate Conference Feb. 10-11, 2022 in Knoxville, Tenn.
The 2023 56th AABP Annual Conference will be held Sept. 21-23 in Milwaukee, Wis.