The Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association (WVMA) named Professor Nigel Cook the 2019 Veterinarian of the Year.
Cook is head of the Department of Medical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine (UW SVM). He teaches in the Core Skills and Advanced Skills in Production Medicine final-year elective rotations and lectures on bovine mastitis, lameness and animal welfare. In addition, he manages the Dairyland Initiative, an online resource that offers virtual tours, building guidelines, benchmarks, workshops and real-time multilingual support to address concerns with facility design and dairy cow health and well-being.
“Dr. Cook is an advocate for the cows, the sustainability of agriculture and the allied industries, and the power of our profession in creating a positive image of animals and the food products produced by the animals under our care,” says Sheila McGuirk, professor emerita of the UW SVM. “Through extensive research, clinical trials and on-farm observation, training, troubleshooting and collaborations, he has advanced the basic premises of productivity, longevity, health, welfare and responsible interventions on farms that are home to food-producing animals.”
“He has been tireless in engaging alliances amongst veterinarians, dairy and animal scientists, engineers, allied industry professionals, agricultural companies and technologists to create and disseminate usable tools that measure, benchmark, calculate, and enhance health and welfare practices on the farm,” she adds.
A WVMA member since 2003, Cook is also a respected leader on the Food Armor Committee, a group tasked with developing the content and providing program support for the Food Armor Foundation’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Solutions program. Other organizations he has been involved with include the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Dairy Science Association and the National Mastitis Council.
Friend of Veterinary Medicine
Kristi Thorson. associate dean for advancement and administration at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, is the 2019 recipient of the WVMA Friend of Veterinary Medicine Award. This award is given to a non-veterinarian who has demonstrated outstanding support for veterinary medicine or organized veterinary medicine in Wisconsin.
Described as a champion for students, alumni and the veterinary medical community and a tireless advocate for veterinary medicine, the UW SVM and the WVMA, Thorson is always a cheerful presence at veterinary school functions.
Thorson first came to the School of Veterinary Medicine to serve as alumni relations director. In that role, she organized annual alumni reunions, alumni receptions at national meetings, and significantly enhanced the engagement of alumni with the School of Veterinary Medicine. In 2012, Thorson was hired as the associate dean for advancement and administration at the school. Through that position, she has met with a wide variety of constituents in the agricultural community and companion animal community, and from corporations that support the veterinary medical profession.
Working with the WVMA, legislators and constituents from around the state, Thorson was instrumental in helping get the school’s expansion project approved.
UW School of Veterinary Medicine alumnus Eric Rooker DVM’13 of Dairy Doctors Veterinary Services in Plymouth is the 2019 recipient of the WVMA Meritorious Service Award. And Douglas Kratt DVM’98, of Onalaska, is the recipient of the 2019 WVMA Presidential Award. Read more about these and other award recipients.