Bovine Industry Professionals Gather For Record-setting 50th AABP Annual Conference


Written by:

Bio not available.


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.


Just over $325,000 in scholarships, awards and other support was given to veterinary students and graduate veterinarians. The awards, funded by AABP members, AABP partners and the AABP Foundation, will enable recipients to further pursue their careers in bovine medicine.

“A total of $211,500 in scholarships and travel stipends were awarded during the AABP Annual Conference” notes AABP Executive Vice President Dr. K. Fred Gingrich, II.  “These scholarships are supported by generous donations from Zoetis, Merck Animal Health, the Eli Lily Foundation and donations from individual members including the Amstutz Live and Silent Auctions and the 5K Stampede sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.”

AABP also provides over $40,000 for the Student Delegate program with support from Norbrook, as well as awarding $4,500 to the student case competition winners, $6,000 to the graduate student research summary competition winners (with support from the BRD Symposium), $20,000 in 2017 education grants for students, $3,000 in student chapter funding and $40,000 in externship grants.

For Kevin Gavin, scholarship recipient and veterinary student at Washington State University, the scholarship means more than helping relieve financial pressure from costs of veterinary education.

“This scholarship will reduce the financial burden of my final year of veterinary school significantly, which will allow me to spend more time gaining as many valuable educational experiences as I can before graduation,” he says. “It is very important for students to see how veterinarians take scientific concepts that are researched and taught in universities and apply these concepts to real-world situations. The only way to do this is to spend time with
veterinarians and on farms, allowing students to understand the concepts firsthand.”

Amstutz Scholarships ($7,500 each)

  • Brandon Colby, The Ohio State University
  • Jessica Gaska, University of Wisconsin
  • Rebecca Gibbs, Colorado State University
  • Amy Kraus, University of Pennsylvania
  • Danielle Mzyk, North Carolina State University
  • Mark Spare, Kansas State University
  • Robert Stenger, Mississippi State University
  • Bryan Welly, University of California-Davis

Merck Animal Health Student Recognition Awards ($5,000 each)

  • Max Beal, Kansas State University
  • Ben Bennett, Kansas State University
  • Justin Casares, Texas A&M University
  • Taylor Crandall, Kansas State University
  • Alex Gander, University of Wisconsin
  • Marissa Horton, Cornell University
  • Cade Luckett, Texas A&M University
  • Tara Lynch, Oklahoma State University
  • Randall Morgan, University of Wisconsin
  • Rachel O’Leary, University of Wisconsin
  • Jenna Porter, Iowa State University
  • Delaine Quaresma, University of California-Davis
  • Cassandra Rice, Iowa State University
  • Travis Roberts, Ross University
  • Brian Schnell, University of Wisconsin
  • Kristy Shaw, Ohio State University
  • Lauren Thompson, Texas A&M University
  • Kendra Wells, University of Wisconsin

AABP Foundation-Zoetis Scholarships ($5,000 each)

  • Max Beal, Kansas State University
  • Ben Bennett, Kansas State University
  • Sarah Cook, Louisiana State University
  • Kevin Gavin, Washington State University
  • Lora Gurley, Michigan State University
  • Joseph Hammes, University of Minnesota
  • Cade Luckett, Texas A&M University
  • Ethan McEnroe, University of California-Davis
  • Michelle Mitchell, Purdue University
  • Delaine Quaresma, University of California-Davis
  • Brian Schnell, University of Wisconsin
  • Lauren Thompson, Texas A&M University

2017 AABP Research Summaries Graduate Student Awards
These awards are funded in part by the Bovine Respiratory Disease Symposium.

  • First Place: Dr. Oscar Benitez, Michigan State University
  • Second Place: Dr. Kathryn Bach, Cornell University
  • Third Place: Dr. Charlotte Winder, University of Guelph

Student Clinical Case Presentation

  • Overall Student Case/Research Presentation Winner and First Place Case Presentation Winner: Justin Casares, Texas A&M
  • Second Place, Student Case Presentation: Lauren Thompson, Texas A&M

Student Research Presentation:

  • First Place: Kristen Livengood, North Carolina State University
  • Second Place: Joseph Hammes, University of Minnesota

2017 AABP Foundation Competitive Research Grants

  • Dr. Pat Gorden, Iowa State University, Comparison of analgesics for control of lameness-associated pain in lactating dairy cattle
  • Dr. Craig McConnel, Washington State University, Comparison of group versus individual calf rearing for a summary measure of health

2017 AgriLabs Dr. Bruce Wren CE Awards ($5,000 each)

  • (Beef) Dr. Holt Tripp, Okotoks, Alberta
  • (Dairy) Dr. Sarah Geibel, Canyon, Texas


The top honor that an American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) member can obtain in his or her career is the Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. AABP Bovine Practitioner of the Year award.

This year, this prestigious award was given to Dr. Norm LaFaunce, Turlock, Calif., at the 2017 AABP Annual Conference in Omaha, Neb., Sept. 14–16. The award honors a veterinarian in active practice who is active in organized veterinary medicine and has made significant contributions to bovine medicine.

Several other bovine veterinarians were also honored at the Annual Business Meeting and Awards Luncheon on September 16. They are:

AABP Award of Excellence

  • Dr. David Kelton, Guelph, Ont.

Zoetis Distinguished Service Award

  • Dr. Bob Smith, Stillwater, Okla.

Merck Animal Health Mentor-of-the-Year Award

  • Dr. Dee Griffin, Canyon, Texas

Boehringer Ingelheim Excellence in Preventive Medicine Awards

  • (Dairy) Dr. Fred Muller, Sunnyside, Wash.
  • (Beef) Dr. Robert Gukich, Lake Wales, Fla.

Dr. James A. Jarrett Award for Young Leaders

  • Dr. Trent Fox, Hays, Kan.

Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame

  • (Dairy) Dr. Darrel Johnson, Marshfield, Wis.
  • (Beef) The late Dr. Rodney Oliphant, Offerle, Kan.

Student Chapter and Faculty Advisor Awards

  • Student Chapter – The Ohio State University
  • Faculty Advisor – Dr. Eric Gordon, The Ohio State University