It was a successful turnout of veterinarians and veterinary students at the 49th Annual Conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) Sept. 15-17 in Charlotte, N.C. The 2016 theme was “Facing the Future Together.”A total of 1,773 attendees was comprised of 1,279 veterinarians and students, 139 accompanying persons, and exhibitor representatives. Attendees came from 15 countries and five continents. The meeting was held jointly with the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners. A total of $222,500 scholarships 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 nearly 100 runners at the 4th Annual 5K Stampede Fun Run sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., which added more than $5,000 to the Amstutz Scholarship Fund.
Immediate Past President John Davidson, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (beef), Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., Shiner, Texas, says, “The AABP continues to deliver upon our objective to increase the knowledge of veterinarians in the field of dairy and beef cattle practice with another outstanding annual conference. It was quite clear to all in attendance that the impact of the organization today continues to carry on the ideals of our founding members who determined that the ‘establishment of the AABP and the aggressive pursuit of its objectives is held to be essential to the continued wellbeing of the cattle industry and the veterinarians who serve it.’”
Davidson continues, “From our humble beginnings over 50 years ago to the AABP we now know today, we are proud to ensure the voice of the practitioner is heard loudest.”
Incoming AABP President Mark Thomas, DVM, Lowville, N.Y., adds, “The AABP 2016 Program Committee deserves special recognition for assembling a variety of relevant topics for our attendees. The scope of the program covered the spectrum from the very important, but often unrecognized, topic of personal well-being and suicide prevention to welfare for our bovine creatures. Many ‘right brain’ topics such as effective communication, human resource management and media training were balanced with a scientific program that allowed each presentation to build upon each other.”
Thomas adds that keynote speaker, Mr. Vance Crow, led the meeting with its theme of “Facing the Future Together” by challenging attendees to engage in effective communication with the general public so that they may preserve and support agriculture within society. “Overall, the program provided plenty of opportunities for education, networking and fun for our attendees.”
Continuing education included preconference seminars, clinical forums, beef and dairy scientific sessions, research summaries, poster presentations, practice tips and sessions for veterinary students and new graduates. Special programming in 2016 included six small-group Veterinary Feed Directive forums, “Beyond the Medicine” sessions on practice and family life as well as depression and suicide in the veterinary community, and Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) sessions from the National Milk Producers Federation. Also meeting in conjunction with AABP was the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners.
In addition to the conference, AABP has been active in producing business management webinars for bovine veterinarians through its Veterinary Practice Sustainability Committee, has offered hands-on bovine embryo transfer seminars in conjunction with Virginia Tech, and has 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.