Sept. 22 2017 10:07 AM

Prestigious awards were given to several bovine veterinarians at the American Association of Bovine Practitioners 2017 50th Annual Conference in Omaha, Neb.

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

The top honor that an American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) member can obtain in his or her career is the Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. AABP Bovine Practitioner of the Year award.
Dr. LaFaunce is AABP Bovine Practitioner of the Year

This year, this prestigious award was given to Dr. Norm LaFaunce, Turlock, Calif., at the 2017 AABP Annual Conference in Omaha, Neb., Sept. 14–16. The award honors a veterinarian in active practice who is active in organized veterinary medicine and has made significant contributions to bovine medicine.

Several other bovine veterinarians were also honored at the Annual Business Meeting and Awards Luncheon on September 16. They are:

AABP Award of Excellence

Sponsored by AABP, recipients must be involved in teaching, research, industry or government areas. The recipient’s professional activities must have had a consistent and direct influence on daily activities of veterinarians in bovine practice. The 2017 recipient is:

  • Dr. David Kelton, Guelph, Ont.

Zoetis Distinguished Service Award

The recipient of this award is an individual who, through long and continued service, has promoted the goals of the AABP and whose accomplishments have served as a model for service to bovine agriculture through organized veterinary medicine. The 2017 recipient is:

  • Dr. Bob Smith, Stillwater, Okla.

Merck Animal Health Mentor-of-the-Year Award

The recipient of this award is an AABP member who has been engaged in the field of veterinary medicine for at least 25 years and has served as both advisor and role model to pre-veterinary and/or veterinary students. This award is given to a member who embodies this spirit whether in practice, the clinic, or the classroom. The 2017 recipient is:

  • Dr. Dee Griffin, Canyon, Texas

Boehringer Ingelheim Excellence in Preventive Medicine Awards

This award recognizes individual member practitioners or practices that have developed outstanding preventive medicine programs. Because of differences in management goals and needs, one award is given to recognize an outstanding program for dairy production, and one for beef production. The 2017 recipients are:

  • (Dairy) Dr. Fred Muller, Sunnyside, Wash.
  • (Beef) Dr. Robert Gukich, Lake Wales, Fla.

Dr. James A. Jarrett Award for Young Leaders

Recipients of this award have graduated veterinary school within 10 years, have given extraordinary service to the AABP in a manner that significantly enhances the mission of the organization, and whose contributions will help ensure the current and future success of the AABP. The 2017 recipient is:

  • Dr. Trent Fox, Hays, Kan.

Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame

The Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame annually recognizes one beef and one dairy veterinarian for their lifelong commitment to bovine veterinary medicine. This award is sponsored by AABP, the Academy of Veterinary Consultants, Bovine Veterinarian, Merck Animal Health and Osborn Barr. The 2017 inductees are:

  • (Dairy) Dr. Darrel Johnson, Marshfield, Wis.
  • (Beef) The late Dr. Rodney Oliphant, Offerle, Kan.

Student Chapter and Faculty Advisor Awards

New in 2016, these awards recognize the activities and involvement of an AABP student chapter, as well as the activities and mentorship of a faculty advisor to bovine veterinary students. The 2017 recipients are:

  • Student Chapter – The Ohio State University
  • Faculty Advisor – Dr. Eric Gordon, The Ohio State University

Find out more about AABP awards and past recipients at

Visit to see additional information on the 2017 Annual Conference. The 2018 51st Annual AABP Conference will be held September 13–15 in Phoenix, Ariz. AABP is a membership-based, not-for-profit organization serving cattle veterinary medicine professionals across the United States, Canada and other countries. Visit