The American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) held its 48th annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, February 25-28, 2017. The meeting drew record attendance of 1,200 total attendees, including 724 paid registrants (also a record) and 146 veterinary students from 24 colleges of veterinary medicine. The conference participants hailed from 30 countries, with 245 (20% of the total) from outside the U.S. The total attendance included a record 270 exhibit representatives from 91 companies and organizations (another all-time high).
The meeting participants enjoyed the opportunity to attend numerous educational sessions, including 11 pre-conference seminars, two general sessions, three break-out sessions, research topics, three industrial partners sessions, the Student Seminar, and a poster session featuring 58 posters. In addition, 13 AASV committees met during the annual meeting.
Dr. Jeff Zimmerman opened the Monday general session with the Howard Dunne Memorial Lecture. His presentation, entitled “Swine medicine in the 21st century: Immovable object meets unstoppable force” explored the conundrum facing swine veterinarians today -- our highly efficient system of pork production (The Immovable Object) is jeopardized by our inability to deal with infectious disease (The Unstoppable Force), which is largely the result of the design of our highly efficient production systems. One of the key takeaways from Dr Zimmerman’s talk is that swine veterinarians need to find ways to make the swine industry more agile, and devise solutions that neutralize the power of infectious disease.
Dr. Matthew Turner presented the Alex Hogg Memorial Lecture entitled “One Health: roles, responsibilities, and opportunities for swine veterinarians.” His presentation explored the history of the One Health movement and the opportunities for swine veterinarians, including food safety, animal welfare, antibiotic resistance and client and consumer education.
The Monday afternoon concurrent sessions allowed attendees the opportunity to delve deeper into the broad topics of swine diseases, antibiotic use, and managing the reproductive herd for high health and productivity. The Tuesday general session addressed issues associated with disease control and elimination.
The AASV Awards Reception was held Monday night, followed by the AASV Foundation’s annual fund-raising auction. Dr John Waddell presented the Heritage Award to Dr KT Wright. This is only the third time the Heritage Award has been awarded. Dr. Matt Anderson, 2013 AASV President and chair of the 2017 Awards Selection Committee, presented the recipients of the Swine Practitioner of the Year Award (Dr. Mike Eisenmenger), the Howard Dunne Memorial Award (Dr. Rodger Main), the Meritorious Service Award (Dr. Jeff Harker), the Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year Award (Dr. Josh Ellingson), and the Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year Award (Dr. Tom Wetzell).