The faculty of Texas Tech University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo continues to take shape as renowned horse expert and veterinarian Britt Conklin has been hired as the new Associate Dean for Clinical Programs.
Conklin, who earned his undergraduate degree in 1997 from the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR), has served as the senior equine professional services veterinarian for Boehringer-Ingelheim Animal Health since 2012. He also established a breakthrough veterinary practice in Weatherford after graduating from veterinary school.
“Being raised here in the Texas Panhandle, in production agriculture, has shaped the character and veterinarian I have become,” Conklin said. “I am thrilled to be part of this exciting program and, as part of the Texas Tech family, I look forward to fostering those fundamental values we hold dear in the students who pass through this program.”
Conklin possesses a diverse agricultural background that started in the Texas Panhandle. A 2019 CASNR Distinguished Alumni honoree, his focus with Boehringer-Ingelheim was on performance horse pharmaceuticals and chronic diseases that affect lameness and hooves of horses. In this role, he provided hundreds of hours of continuing education and hands-on instruction and has been the keynote speaker at more than 20 different state, national and international veterinary medical association meetings.
During his tenure at Boehringer-Ingelheim, he helped grow the company into the largest equine animal health provider in the world.
“I am excited that Britt will join the leadership team of the School of Veterinary Medicine,” said Guy Loneragan, dean of the school. “He will provide important leadership to our relationships with veterinary practices all across Texas. These practices are key to providing experiential learning for our students, and Britt has developed an enormous network that is second to none. He will help enable truly outstanding hands-on, clinical education and research opportunities for our veterinary students.”
Conklin continues working in equine consulting and operates a referral hospital that serves outpatient sports medicine and podiatry needs and also is involved in the cattle industry. He runs a commercial herd of cows and operates a stocker and backgrounding operation that serves his family and local farmer feeders. He is particularly interested in developing veterinary students who can serve the rural and regional community needs, aligning with the mission of the School of Veterinary Medicine.
Upon earning his veterinary degree, Conklin worked at the Alpha Equine Hospital and Breeding Center in Weatherford, an industry leader in cutting- and quarter-horse breeding. The center was one of the first to implement commercial equine embryo transfer and was a leader in medicine and surgery.
Not long after, Conklin assumed an ownership role of the center and renamed it the Reata Equine Hospital, combining his skills developed as a farrier and veterinarian to develop the Podiatry Center at Reata. As a result of its success, the clinic was recognized in 2005 as a Top 5 Equine Hospital in the United States by Horseman’s magazine.
After further developing the successful practice, Conklin sold the business and moved his family back to the Texas Panhandle to work with Boehringer-Ingelheim.
“Britt is a highly qualified veterinarian with an international reputation in equine podiatry and brings terrific insight from many years of high quality veterinary practice,” said John Dascanio, senior associate dean for academic and student affairs for the School of Veterinary Medicine. “There is no one better to help guide our clinical year program and to align our mission in graduating confident and competent veterinarians.”
About the School of Veterinary Medicine
Thanks to the generosity of Amarillo and communities across Texas, and the commitment of legislators from around the state, the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine, established in 2018, is working to enroll its first class in the fall of 2021, pending approval by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE).
The School of Veterinary Medicine will recruit and select students with a passion to practice and succeed in small, agricultural and regional communities and utilize a curriculum focused on the competencies and skills necessary to be successful in practices that support these communities. Texas Tech’s innovative and cost-efficient model partners with the wider community of veterinary practices across the state to provide clinical, real-world experiential learning.
In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law the biennial state budget, which appropriated $17.35 million for the School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo that will go toward operational needs in order to get the school up and running. The appropriation included language directing Texas Tech to move forward in establishing the school.
Donors and civic leaders have pledged more than $90 million toward infrastructure, construction and scholarships for the School of Veterinary Medicine on the site of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo.