In collaboration with the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) and the National Dairy Shrine, AgriLabs has introduced two novel awards available to young veterinarians actively working with beef and dairy operations. Named as a tribute to Dr. W. Bruce Wren, each award will provide a $5,000 grant for professional-development training, ultimately helping these veterinarians better serve their producer-clients. The first two grants will be awarded in August 2010, with completed applications due June 15, 2010.
“The increasing gap between the number of veterinarians available to serve dairy and beef producers, and the actual need is a much-discussed trend,” says Steve Schram, president and chief executive officer, AgriLabs. “By introducing these grants for deserving young veterinarians, AgriLabs is thrilled to provide significant resources for self-directed professional development while encouraging these veterinarians to remain in large-animal medicine.”
Developing an innovative award
The origin of these innovative awards – the AgriLabs Bruce Wren Continuing-Education Beef Award for Young Veterinarians and the National Dairy Shrine Bruce Wren Young Veterinary Award sponsored by AgriLabs – was in a National Dairy Shrine committee that brought together veterinarians and producers to look at ways to encourage interest in bovine medicine.
“We found that after graduation, there really weren’t many industry-sponsored awards or professional-development opportunities for veterinarians until they had spent many years in practice,” says Dr. M. Gatz Riddell, AABP executive vice president and member of that planning committee. “Yet, the years after graduation are a key time when young veterinarians not only gain experience, but also are likely to decide whether to continue in herd-side practice or move into other career paths. These AgriLabs $5,000 awards will be vital in helping veterinarians gain more experience in individual-animal and herd-production medicine, helping them bring value to their producer-clients for years to come.”
Veterinarians create their own reward
The application process also is unique by design, enabling the winners to create their own award using the $5,000 grant from AgriLabs. While information about the demographics of their veterinary practice will be gathered for background, the judging will be based on two primary criteria:
1. the applicants’ professional-development plan, which describes the skills/knowledge they’d like to improve to become a more valuable resource for their producer-clients and how they’d use the $5,000 grant for this improvement, and
2. letters of reference from three individuals (including at least one producer and one veterinarian) who have first-hand knowledge of the applicants’ practice experience and educational interest.
“What’s especially exciting about the new AgriLabs veterinary awards is the variety we’ll likely see in how these young veterinarians plan to improve their skills to become even more effective in bovine medicine,” says Riddell. “The planned professional development funded by the $5,000 grants from AgriLabs could range from participating in technical or business short courses, to advanced training, to ride-along time with an exemplary veterinarian. While each applicant’s experience will be different, the end result will be good not just for the participating veterinarian, but also for producers and the industry.”
Applying for these awards
Applications for the AgriLabs Bruce Wren Continuing-Education Beef Award for Young Veterinarians and the National Dairy Shrine Bruce Wren Young Veterinary Award sponsored by AgriLabs are available at www.aabp.org. The awards are open to veterinarians actively involved with a practice who graduated with a veterinary degree between June 1, 2000 and June 1, 2009.
The professional-development opportunity described in the application can apply to either individual-animal medicine (e.g., diagnosis, treatment, surgery, case management, pain management, patient welfare) or herd-production medicine (e.g., records analysis, disease prevention, production enhancement, benchmarking, biosecurity, food safety).
Building on a legacy of continuing education
These new AgriLabs young-veterinary awards are named in honor of Bruce Wren, D.V.M., Ph.D., who is highly regarded for his commitment to both practical and formal continuing education.
“Bruce’s service to the profession as a practitioner, a teacher, a veterinary pathologist and a technical-services veterinarian has been exemplary,” says Schram. “AgriLabs is so pleased to give back to the profession in his name with this significant award. Whether the young veterinarians receiving these $5,000 continuing-education grants come from single-veterinarian or multi-practitioner practices, or from areas with high or low beef and dairy concentrations, this investment will be good for bovine medicine.”