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NIAA Leaders named among other Veterinarians to Ag Secretary's Animal Health Advisory Committee

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the members of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health.

The committee will provide outside perspectives on U.S. Department of Agriculture strategies, policies and programs to prevent, control and/or eradicate animal health diseases, according to a USDA news release. The committee also will lead broader dialogue on public health concerns and the stability of the livestock economies, the release said.

The following individuals have been appointed to serve on the committee through June 2017:

  • Dr. Michael J. Blackwell, a veterinarian and director of veterinary policy for the Humane Society of the United States from Tennessee
  • Dr. Stephen Crawford, state veterinarian and deputy commissioner of agriculture from New Hampshire
  • Dr. S. Peder Cuneo, extension specialist and assistant director of university animal care at University of Arizona from Arizona
  • Ms. Glenda S. Davis, program manager for tribal veterinary services from Navajo Nation
  • Dr. Mark J. Engle, technical services manager, swine business unit, for Merck Animal Health from Missouri
  • Dr. David L. Fernandez, a sheep producer and extension livestock specialist from Arkansas
  • Mr. Maximiliano A. Fernandez, a cattle and sheep producer and advocate from Washington
  • Dr. John R. Fisher, director and professor of cooperative wildlife disease study at University of Georgia from Georgia
  • Dr. Daniel L. Grooms, chairperson and professor of large animal clinical sciences at Michigan State University from Michigan
  • Dr. Annette B. Jones, state veterinarian and director of animal health and food safety services from California
  • Ms. Mary Ann Kniebel, rancher and feedlot nutritionist from Kansas
  • Dr. John R. MacMillan, vice president of Clear Springs Foods, Idaho
  • Ms. Judith I. McGeary, producer and attorney at law from Texas
  • Dr. Willie M. Reed, dean of the college of veterinary medicine at Purdue University from Indiana
  • Dr. G. Donald Ritter, veterinary director of health services for Mountaire Farms from Maryland
  • Mr. Charles Rogers, chief executive officer for Clovis Livestock Auction from New Mexico
  • Dr. David R. Smith, endowed professor and beef program leader at Mississippi State University from Mississippi
  • Dr. Belinda Thompson, faculty, advisor and interim assistant executive director, animal health diagnostic center at Cornell University from New York
  • Dr. Elizabeth K. Wagstrom, chief veterinarian for National Pork Producers Council from Minnesota
Jones is Past Chairman of the Board and Engle currently serves on the Board of Directors.

The committee’s next meeting will take place in the coming months.

Kansas State University Researchers Attack Antibiotic Resistance

( - MANHATTAN - Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine researchers are looking at the growing problem of antibiotic resistance and are helping shape public policy on the issue to keep humans and animals healthy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that drug-resistant bacteria cause 2 million illnesses and approximately 23,000 deaths each year in the U.S., according to the White House's March 2015 "National Action Plan For Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria."

Kansas State University's Mike Apley, a professor of production medicine and clinical pharmacology, and Brian Lubbers, assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology and director of microbiology at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, both study antimicrobial resistance and have gained national recognition for their work.

"If there is a clear public health risk of using an antibiotic in food animals, we must make some hard choices as to how and if that antibiotic should be used in these animals," Apley said. "We also don't want to see an antibiotic removed in the name of human health when it really doesn't affect human health and the removal harms our ability to care for animals. Antibiotics are a key tool for veterinarians and producers to protect the health and welfare of the animals used for food."

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Follow Your Leader

Due to shared efforts against emergency preparedness and response, Leah Dorman started her partnership with the National Institute for Animal Agriculture in 2007 along with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Dorman has held several leadership roles in her time including Co-Chair to the Animal Health & Emergency Management Council, Antibiotics Council and 2012 Antibiotics Symposium. Along with attending several NIAA Annual Conferences and Antibiotic Symposia, she has been a member of the 2014 NIAA Annual Conference Planning committee and received the NIAA President's Award in 2013. The President's Award is presented to an NIAA committee leader who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in serving NIAA, she was selected along with Dr. Jennifer Koeman for their work as co-chairs of the 2012 Antibiotics Symposium. Dorman has also been a member of the NIAA Board of Directors for the past four years.

Recently Dorman started at Phibro Animal Health and continues her commitment and membership with NIAA.

"NIAA and Phibro have a similar mission to find solutions to advance animal agriculture through the improvement of animal health and well-being, while promoting a healthy, affordable food supply," Dorman said.

Dorman is the Director of Food Integrity and Consumer Engagement of Phibro Animal Health. In this role she provides balanced information about important food and animal agriculture issues, including the responsible use of antibiotics across the entire food chain.

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