Nearly 2,000 people associated in some way with bovine veterinary medicine headed to Albuquerque, N.M., last week despite the promise of midday temps approaching 100 degrees or more. The occasion was the 43rd annual conference of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

The AABP meeting is the major event of the year where cattle veterinarians meet and get training and updates on a wide variety of topics that enable them to serve their clients and their client's cattle more effectively and to run their veterinary practices more successfully.

Of the 1,900 who attended the meeting, about 900 were veterinarians, and about 600 of those were associated with a veterinary practice. The meeting attracted more than 200 veterinary students from around the U.S. and Canada. In addition, there were many at the meeting who represented companies that exhibited at the extensive trade show and others who work in a field allied in some way with the veterinary profession.

Prior to the actual meeting, there are dozens of preconference seminars that veterinarians could have attended for in-depth training and updates on topics such milk quality, lameness, record keeping, and nutrition, just to name a few. The main conference involves short updates on current research of interest to veterinarians and more extensive presentations on current issues facing veterinarians such as animal welfare, greater restrictions on antibiotic use, and the future supply of food-animal veterinarians.

The meeting also is a time for veterinarians to recognize outstanding peers. This year, the Alpharma Award of Excellence was presented to Dale Moore of Washington State University. The Merial Excellence in Preventive Medicine Award for Dairy was presented to Jerry Gaska, Columbus, Wis. Mark Spire, Manhattan, Kans., received the Pfizer Distinguished Service Award. The Intervet Mentor-of-the-Year was Ken Leslie of the University of Guelph in Ontario. The Boehringer-Ingelheim Bovine Practitioner of the Year Award was presented to Joe Klopfenstein, Vergennes, Vt.

There was a proposal from the AABP board of directors to change the name of the organization to American Association of Bovine Veterinarians. The thinking was that many people in agriculture, let alone society, do not know what a practitioner does. Also, in some respects, the organization serves all bovine veterinarians, not just those who "practice." There were some at the meeting who thought that the name should be changed to "Cattle Veterinarians" and others who did not think the name should be changed at all.

Members present at the meeting voted, by a wide margin, to not change the name at this time, so the organization remains the American Association of Bovine Practitioners.

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