Connecting members with the latest news from USAHA

Notes from the President

Dusty Oedekoven, DVM, DACVPM


“Are we there yet?” Anyone who has driven some distance with kids will be familiar with this classic question that usually comes from the backseat within a half hour of departure and is often repeated throughout the trip. My high school ag teacher frequently encountered this question enroute to FFA events and had a signature response. No matter the distance remaining, he would always answer: “we’re about half way!"


I have felt the same sentiment while working through any number of preparedness or response incidents. Whether supply chain disruptions due to a global pandemic, avian influenza outbreak, bovine tuberculosis response (or revising those TB regs!), monkeypox, preparing for the introduction of a transboundary disease like FMD or ASF, or trying to get the USAHA meeting back on-track to its pre-pandemic format, the question may be asked: "Are we there yet?" Surely, we must be halfway!


Remember that 2019 annual meeting in Providence? Halcyon days! While the meeting format has been modified the past two years, I am really looking forward to bringing back most of the "normal" footprint of our annual meeting this year in Minneapolis, with some notable fun twists that I encourage you to read about in the annual meeting section below. As we prepare to meet again soon, I would like to extend my thanks to all the committee leaders. The work of USAHA is committee driven, and the effectiveness of a committee comes down to leadership and active participation. Thanks for all you do!


I had hoped to visit all four district meetings this year, but competing schedules kept my attendance to just two: the Northeast and my own Northcentral districts. I enjoyed catching up with friends and hearing various updates important to all the work that you do. USAHA members are involved in a wide variety of issues affecting diverse stakeholders. There really is something for everyone, and the work of our organization is better when all are involved. Enhancing membership engagement is one of the objectives in our strategic plan. I encourage everyone to join a committee or working group – your contributions are highly valued!

2022 Meeting Overview

Make Plans for Minneapolis

The 2022 Annual Meeting is less than a month away! We hope everyone is making plans to attend this year.

Don’t miss these Important Deadlines!

  • Meeting Pre-registration ends Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 21
  •  Registrations after this date can be accepted on-site in Minneapolis.
  • Hotel Reservations – Reserve your room by SEPTEMBER 14 to guarantee the group rate.
  • Choose from the Hyatt Regency or the Millennium Hotel (connected) for your stay this year!
  • Meeting Schedule – Detailed agendas are being posted regularly – check back often for updates!

Photo courtesy Meet Minneapolis

The USAHA Executive Committee has been working diligently in taking feedback from the last few years and revising the program to bring a bit of a new look to the USAHA Annual Meeting. Some highlights for this year’s program include:

 Awards Luncheon, Sunday, October 9. 

           Recognize the accomplishments of our colleagues in USAHA and AAVLD with a dedicated luncheon program on Sunday.

 President’s Dinner and Keynote, Sunday, October 9.

           Enjoy an evening hosted by USAHA and AAVLD presidents to feature their thoughts over the past year and take in a thought-provoking presentation from renowned geopoliticist, Peter Zeihan.

Revised Committee schedule, with two-hour meetings.

           Don’t miss the breadth and depth of topics covered by committees, including the important work done through the resolutions process.

 Receptions and Networking

           Plenty of opportunities to catch up with old friends and make new connections, whether organized receptions, breaks between sessions, or passing in the hallway – USAHA offers a great opportunity to interact with animal health leaders across the country.

We look forward to seeing you in Minneapolis!

2022 Program/Schedule
peter-zeihan-headshot image

2022 Keynote Speaker: meet Peter Zeihan

Don’t miss out on a new approach this year with our Keynote Speaker, to take place Sunday evening, October 9 as part of the President’s Dinner. We are pleased to feature renowned geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan Join us for an engaging and thought-provoking evening, with a global slant and agricultural flavor.

Peter Zeihan is is an expert in geopolitics: the study of how place impacts financial, economic, cultural, political and military developments. Peter is a critically acclaimed author and highly-sought public speaker. With a keen eye toward what will drive tomorrow’s headlines, his irreverent approach transforms topics that are normally dense and heavy into accessible, relevant takeaways for audiences of all types. 

Learn More

Student Travel Scholarships Available!

The Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine will award up to 11 travel awards of $500-599 each will be awarded to students interested in veterinary public practice, and up to 6 awards of $599 will be granted to students interested in diagnostic laboratory medicine, to offset travel expenses to the annual joint USAHA

& AAVLD Meeting on October 6-12, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Registration fees for veterinary students are waived. Attendance for the entire conference is not mandatory

Learn more and apply HERE 

Deadline is Sept. 16.

Congratulations to…

Dr. Manoel Tamassia, now former State Veterinarian of New Jersey and second vice president of USAHA, has assumed a new role with the World Organization for Animal Health (formerly OIE) in Paris, France. Unfortunately, he is also resigning his position as an officer of USAHA representing the Northeast district. We wish you all the best in your new endeavors, Dr. Tamassia!

Upon Dr. Tamassia’s resignation, the Northeast USAHA District has nominated Dr. Stephen Crawford, New Hampshire State Veterinarian, to fill the vacancy for the Northeast position on the Executive Committee as first vice-president. The Executive Committee has reviewed and approved this appointment, and be slated for election as President-Elect this fall. Welcome Dr. Crawford back to the leadership of USAHA!

Welcome New Individual and Student Members – 2022


  • Laura Siles – USDA
  • Jenny Moffit – USDA
  • Jill DeSau – Oregon Dept of Agric
  • Sarah Beachy – Oregon Dept of Agric
  • Lutz Goehring - University of Kentucky
  • Thomas Lavelle - VA Dept. of Agric/Consumer Svcs
  • Tabby Moore - VA Dept. of Agric/Consumer Svcs
  • Holli Tietjen-Hale - Texas Animal Health Commission
  • Ben Weinheimer - Texas Cattle Feeders Assn
  • Molly Gillingham - Maryland Dept of Agric
  • David Byerly - Arizona Dept of Agric
  • Donna Drebes - Seaboard Foods
  • Luc Dufresne - Seaboard Foods
  • John Hurst - USDA-FSIS
  • Aimee Matheny - Skyfiber Ranch, LLC
  • Ambria Mays - West Virginia Dept of Agric
  • Alexa McCourt - Tenn Dept. of Agriculture
  • Beth Ann Shane-Holser - NY Dept of Agric
  • Mary Battrell - Smithfield Hog Production
  • Kaitlyn Briggs - Dairy Management Inc
  • Joseph Fent – Smithfield
  • Maricarmen Garcia - University of Georgia
  • Halley Fobes - CA Dept of Food and Ag
  • Kavishti Kokaram - CA Dept of Food and Ag
  • Christina Trabanco - Florida Dept of Agric/Consumer Svcs
  • Laura Unkauf – USDA-FSIS
  • Samantha Allen - Wyoming Game and Fish Dept
  • Kerry Barling – Kentucky Dept of Agric
  • Anita Teel Dahnke - SNA Farms
  • Michelle Scheepstra - GlobalVetLINK, L.C.
  • Noel Williams - Iowa Select Farms
  • Kathe Bjork - USDA–NIFA
  • Chelsea Crawford - PEAK Genetics
  • Alexandra Deges - Texas Cattle Feeders Assn
  • Kaylie Fritts - Nebraska Dept of Agric
  • Allison Hoch - Washington State Dept of Agric
  • Bruce Hutton - Washington State Dept of Agric
  • Scott Richardson - Florida Dept of Agric/Consumer Svcs
  • Fernando Umayam - California Dept of Food & Agric
  • Teckla Webb - Wyoming Livestock Board


  • Jonathani Dastan - Sokoine University of Agriculture
  • Faith Scott - Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Michael Harlow - George Mason University
  • Rachel Kanefsky - Tufts Cummings School of Vet Med
  • Gabriel Faulcon - Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Blake Marie Jones - Mississippi State University
  • Sommer Pollard - Auburn Univ College of Vet Med (N/A)
  • Olivia Scuderi - University of Maryland
  • Nicholas Mosby - Mississippi State University
  • Tara Prezioso - University of Illinois
  • Marissa Landry - Northshore Technical Community College
  • Paige Palomaki - University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Macy Rasmussen - University of Nebraska-Lincoln

New! Resolution Review


Resolutions are a key output of the USAHA committee process. USAHA resolutions are not policy setting but instead make specific requests, often of federal or state agencies, to take a specific action or respond with information. 


Increasing the effectiveness of resolutions is one of the goals of the 2021-25 strategic plan. A dashboard was previously developed and is available on the USAHA website so that members and stakeholders can track the progress of resolutions. During the 2021 annual meeting, the Board of Directors approved a process to review resolutions every three years. This process will begin at this year's annual meeting with a review of resolutions passed at the 2019 Annual Meeting. In addition to current resolution work, each committee will review resolutions that originated from that committee in 2019.


When reviewing 2019 resolutions, committees should consider:


·        Has the desired outcome of the resolution been met? For example, did the agency respond with the information or action requested by the resolution? If so, the resolution can be moved to “inactive status”.


·        Has the subject of a resolution expired? For example, did the resolution pertain to a time-specific request that has now passed? If so, it should be moved to inactive status.


If a past resolution is still relevant, timely, and necessary, but the desired outcome has not yet been achieved, committees should consider how the language of the resolution might be modified to bring about the desired outcome.


·        Right target?

·        Narrow scope?

·        Restricted time frame?


Through this process resolutions that have not been effective in meeting desired outcomes will be reconsidered through the committee’s deliberative business meeting and passed or defeated in the same manner as current resolutions are handled. The goal is to keep resolutions current and maximize the effectiveness of our organization. Best wishes to all as we undertake this new process!

Thanks to everyone for your support of USAHA!

U.S. Animal Health Association |
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