At the 2018 51st Annual Conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, held Sept. 13–15 in Phoenix, Ariz., veterinarians, students and other animal health professionals from across the country and the globe gained new knowledge and skills from the conference program geared toward the theme, “Become Indispensable”.
“To ‘Become Indispensable’ means to become absolutely necessary to the cattle and cattle caretakers in our sphere of influence,” says 2018 Program Chairman and Incoming AABP President Dr. Glenn Rogers, Aledo, Texas. “This involves clinical competence and a deep understanding of each client’s operation and development of long term trust relationships. A goal of AABP as an organization is to remain or become Indispensable to all bovine veterinarians.”
A healthy conference attendance included 1,204 individuals including 351 students, 135 American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioner (AASRP) members, six veterinary technicians, 130 accompanying persons, and 419 exhibitor representatives from 115 commercial and educational booths in the large trade show. Total attendance was 1,646 from 16 countries. The 51st AABP Annual Conference was once again held jointly with the AASRP. Continuing education included 14 in-depth preconference seminars in addition to a special veterinary school faculty symposium, nine clinical forums, practice tips, research summaries, poster sessions and over 50 scientific sessions covering general topics, beef, dairy, practice management, small ruminants and more.
AABP Immediate Past President Dr. Mike Apley, Manhattan, Kan., says, “Many of our member’s clients – who are also our members’ friends – are having some tough economic times, especially in the dairy sector. I think that is reflected in the nature of where AABP is heading in helping our members discover and develop new skills, and then presenting them to clients to help them thrive in concert with our members’ services.”
While the entire 2018 AABP conference was a success, a video welcome from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Sonny Perdue set the stage for the rest of the week. Rogers says, “Dr. Perdue is the first veterinarian to serve as the Secretary of Agriculture and the first veterinarian to serve in a U.S. presidential cabinet.” Perdue mentioned the conference theme in his remarks and emphasized how indispensable veterinarians are for a safe food supply, as well as how indispensable veterinarians are to their rural communities. “He used the example of how one of our speakers, Dr. Randall Spare and his clinic from in Ashland, Kansas, responded to the devastating wildfires last year as an indispensable component of the community response and the healing process,” Rogers adds. View Perdue’s video message at www.aabp.org.
“The program committee hit a home run combining CE on technical knowledge and skills with the ‘softer’ sciences of human behavior and motivation,” Apley explains. “It all matters for the success of food animal veterinarians and their clients. I think an overall message is that we thrive by helping our clients thrive, and by helping them do that, we are indispensable in their planning and management activities.”
Veterinary students play a large role in AABP during the year and at the conference. Over $331,000 in scholarships, travel stipends, student chapter support and externships and education grants were awarded in 2018. Conference activities for students include the AABP Student Delegate Program (a three-year leadership program), student case presentations, a student poster session, a Quiz Bowl representing 23 veterinary schools, student specific programming and a student reception.
The conference isn’t all about CE, however. Numerous receptions and meal events offered networking and socializing with colleagues and peers. One of the conference highlights was the 6th Annual 5k Stampede Fun Run sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, which added $10,000 to the Amstutz Scholarship Fund – AABP’s premiere scholarship fund. An entertaining live auction and dinner on Sept. 14 sponsored by Zoetis, which also supports the Amstutz Scholarship, combined with a silent auction, garnered over $70,000.
“The program committee has once again put together a conference of relevant continuing education for our members,” note AABP Executive Vice President Dr. K. Fred Gingrich, II. “We are appreciative of the countless hours the AABP staff and volunteers dedicate to ensure our members enjoy the conference each year.”
Gingrich adds that AABP will hold its 2nd AABP Recent Veterinary Graduate Conference Feb. 7-9, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio. “If you are a recent graduate AABP member, I encourage you to look at the exciting program that has been put together for you at this upcoming conference,” he says. Conference registration will open in October – check the AABP website at www.aabp.org for upcoming information.
In addition to the annual 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 recently offered webinars to members on cattle genomics. AABP has also 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.
The 2019 52nd Annual AABP Conference will be held September 12-14 in St. Louis, Mo.
AABP is a membership-based, not-for-profit organization serving cattle veterinary medicine professionals across the United States, Canada and other countries. Visit www.aabp.org or like us on Facebook.