The American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) honored five members for their contributions to the association and the swine industry at the association’s annual meeting March 4 in San Diego, CA.

Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year award was presented to Amber Stricker, DVM, The award is given to an AASV member five or less years post-graduation who has demonstrated the ideals of exemplary service and proficiency early in his or her career.

Stricker is a 2008 graduate of the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and received a Masters degree in Veterinary Microbiology in 2007 also from Iowa State University.  She grew up on a farm near St. Ansgar,  IA, where her family raised corn, soybeans, cattle and pigs. 

Stricker is a partner and practicing veterinarian at Suidae Health and Production, a seven-veterinarian, swine-exclusive practice based in Algona, IA.  She resides in Albert Lea, MN, where she serves swine clients locally as well as throughout the Midwest

Brad Thacker, DVM, received the AASV’s Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year award. Established in 2008, the award recognizes swine industry veterinarians who have demonstrated an unusual degree of proficiency and effectiveness in delivery of veterinary service to their companies and their clients as well as given tirelessly in service to the AASV and the swine industry.

Thacker was recognized for his years of service as the senior technical services specialist for Merck Animal Health. In his position, Thacker’s responsibilities include providing technical support for Merck products and the company’s sales force. He was in private practice in Fairmont and New Ulm, MN, before joining the faculty at Michigan State University in 1983.  In 1994, he accepted an associate professorship in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine at Iowa State University.  He joined the technical team at Merck (then Intervet Schering-Plough) in 2002. 

Jeff Zimmerman, DVM, received the AASV’s Howard Dunne Memorial award. He is currently professor of disease ecology in  the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, at the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine. 

In addition to being a prolific researcher, Zimmerman is dedicated to mentoring students.  He has served on numerous professional, academic and industry committees.  He has been a member of AASV since 1990 serving on the PRRS subcommittee, Annual Meeting Planning Committee and Swine Health Committee as well as chairing sessions at the AASV Annual Meeting.  He is also active in the swine industry participating on National Pork Board and National Pork Producer Council committees.

Craig Rowles, DVMreceived the AASV’s Meritorious Service award that recognizes individuals who have provided outstanding service to the organization.

Rowles was in private practice with the Carroll (IA) Veterinary Clinic until 1996, when he left to become a partner and general manager at Elite Pork Partnership, an 8,000-sow, farrow-to-finish swine operation. He completed the Executive Veterinary Program at the University of Illinois in 2009.  He is also the 2009 recipient of the Iowa State University Science with Practice award.

Barry Kerkaert, DVMwas named AASV Swine Practitioner of the Year, given to the swine practitioner who has demonstrated an unusual degree of proficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of veterinary service to clients.

Kerkaert is a managing partner in the Pipestone Veterinary Clinic, comprised of 18 veterinarians located in Pipestone, MN, and Independence IA.  The Pipestone Veterinary Clinic is responsible for the management of the Pipestone System, which is a 145,000-sow production system owned by independent farmers in five states.

Kerkaert has lectured, visited or consulted on swine farms in countries worldwide.  He is the organizer and co-founder of System Grow – Finish Management LLC., a swine grow-finish production management company that currently manages 300,000 growing pigs