Dr. James McKean, a respected Iowa State University Swine Extension veterinarian and food safety researcher, passed away suddenly last week.

McKean’s long list of contributions to the pork industry includes developing tools and programs for disease surveillance, especially his efforts to eradicate Pseudorabies virus and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus.

More recently, he was designing strategies for eradicate Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.

Meatingplace’s Rita Jane Gabbett reports in an article here that his loss will be felt throughout the industry.

"Swine veterinary medicine and the pork industry have lost a major piece of the foundation we currently stand on," Dr. Pat Halbur, professor and chair of the Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine Department at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, told Gabbett. "Our profession and industry have built upon and benefited tremendously from many of the things Dr. McKean has done to improve the health and welfare of pigs, the profitability of the pork industry and the safety and quality of pork."

Read, “Pork industry loses swine health, food safety expert.”

McKean was involved in numerous industry-wide organizations, including the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA), Iowa Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), National Pork Board, National Institute for Animal Agriculture and the U.S. Animal Health Association.

McKean also contributed numerous articles to PorkNetwork and other industry outlets. He was scheduled to present “Practices to Reduce Reliance on Antibiotics” during a September SowBridge webinar.

Several awards were also presented to McKean throughout his career, ranging from the IPPA’s Honorary Iowa Master Pork Producer to the AASV’s Howard Dunne Memorial Award. Click here to read more about McKean from his biography published on the Iowa State University Extension website.