District Meeting Wrap-up

One of the most memorable perks of rotating through the USAHA presidency is having the opportunity to visit the district meetings. This year was no exception; the hosts were gracious, the discussions were productive, and the opportunities for networking were, as always, plentiful and enjoyable. I was able to attend three of the four geographic district meetings this year. It was a treat and reminded me that U.S. animal agriculture is diverse and challenging. Having colleagues and friends in every part of our country who are subject matter experts in their respective priority areas makes me sleep better at night. Our agricultural industries are in good hands with USAHA at the helm! As I reflect on these visits, several takeaways come to mind that are worth sharing:
·          Diversifying the meetings can be a productive move! Consider expanding your district meeting by inviting colleagues with specialized areas of interest to participate. Joint sessions allow for useful cross pollination while breakout sessions facilitate dialogue that is beneficial to a smaller sector of professionals. Examples where this has been successful include hosting the state meat inspection directors, regional rabies consortiums, and regional laboratory directors and staff at the USAHA district meetings. You can increase attendance, diversity and networking opportunities by doing this, and you will strengthen those professional relationships in peace time that you can draw on when a crisis arises. Kudos to those district leaders who have explored these opportunities and cultivated these professional relationships.
·          Always engage your USAHA district-at-large (DAL) colleagues! Our industry members are in every part of the U.S. and formulate this geographic-neutral USAHA district. The benefits of fully engaging industry during the geographic district meetings can’t be overstated. USAHA develops and promotes sound animal health solutions for public good, industry is the branch of our organization that implements those solutions. Remember to always have them at the table.
·          Make sure the right hand is not competing with the left! Spring is a busy time across the country. Scheduling district meetings is challenging, but you can optimize your meeting’s financial bottom line and attendance by carving out meeting dates that have minimal conflict with other Districts. Meeting sponsors will thank you, and federally employed members will be better able to meet your presentation topic requests. It will be great to bring together the regional expertise in Providence, Rhode Island for USAHA’s marquee event, the 123 rd Annual Meeting, speaking of which, keep reading…
USAHA Annual Meeting Teaser

Mark your calendars for October 24 – 30 for the 123 rd Annual Meeting in beautiful Providence, Rhode Island, and prepare yourselves for a few changes! The most noteworthy change planned for this year’s gathering is a joint plenary session makeover. One of the highlights of the meeting will be a keynote presentation by Dr. Juan Lubroth (pictured), Chief Veterinary Officer of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) , on African Swine Fever (ASF). Dr. Lubroth will discuss risk management, diagnostic challenges and opportunities, politics and economics and how these affect control strategies in the field. He will share approaches to better risk management and will identify areas needed to ensure preparedness in case ASF reaches North America. The keynote address will be preceded by a networking breakfast open to all members, and a shortened presentation length will provide attendees with some down time, opportunities for networking or maybe even a bit of extra sleep, a welcomed luxury during a busy meeting! Stay tuned for more updates as the meeting date draws closer.
As a reminder, hotel reservations are now available: https://www.usaha.org/2019-annual-meeting , and Meeting Registration is scheduled to open July 1.

Welcome New Members!

USAHA members are the lifeblood of our organization and we are pleased to share with you the names of colleagues who have joined since January. Please join the USAHA executive committee and staff in welcoming these colleagues onto the USAHA team! New members, we are glad to have you and look forward to working with you for the betterment of USAHA and animal agriculture!

Individual Members:
  • Louise Calderwood - Am Feed Industry Assoc
  • Charles Dodd - Kansas State Univ College of Vet Med
  • Fengmin Dong - Tianjin Meat Association
  • Sherri Gress - Texas Animal Health Commission
  • Clayton Hilton - Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Inst.

Student Members:
  •  Nicole Andre - Cornell University
  •  Erika Schwarz - University of Florida
  • Angela Ives - Virginia Tech
  • Annellie Miller - University of Florida
  • Alexa Schappert - Colorado State University
  • Emily Sears - Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Hannah Thomas - Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine

Other Executive Committee News

  • The USAHA leadership team has worked with AAVLD to form an Annual Meeting Task Force, which will begin its work soon. The task force is charged with evaluating the flow and content of the Annual Meeting and making recommendations for improvement to the USAHA Executive Board and the AAVLD Board of Directors by the end of the first quarter of March 2020. Congratulations to Immediate Past President Barb Determan (IA) and Drs. Janemarie Hennebelle (GA) and Steve Crawford (NH) for their willingness to serve on this important task force, along with USAHA Executive Director Ben Richey.
  • The USAHA Executive Committee will begin to develop the next five-year USAHA strategic plan during its summer meeting in Denver Colorado. Input from all members will be solicited; thanks in advance for your thoughts as we begin this important process.
  • Members Chelsea Good (MO), Dr. Boyd Parr (SC) and Victor Velez (CA) have agreed to represent USAHA on a joint committee with the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials to oversee the operations of and fundraising for InterstateLivestock.com. Trace First will continue to be the vendor for the platform. The work completed by this committee will help ensure that this important platform is sustainable for years to come.  

Thank you all for your leadership and the contributions you make to USAHA!
U.S. Animal Health Association | usaha.org