When veterinarian Jessica Laurin joined the Academy of Veterinary Consultants early in her practice in 1993, the group had 250 members who mainly served feedlots.
Laurin now is president of the organization, which has grown to more than 900 members and includes cow/calf operators and teaching veterinarians in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
“The AVC oversees more than 80 percent of all cattle on feed,” Laurin said.
The organization meets three times a year to pass along advice to one another and discuss current issues.
At their December meeting, they discussed the need for proper use of dart guns so as not to affect the quality of the beef. Dart guns are used to remotely subdue animals for treatment. AVC is putting together instructional material for users.
Three weeks ago, Laurin and two other veterinarians traveled to Nashville to participate in a roundtable discussion about the dart issue. The session was taped and aired Dec. 14 on Rural America Live on RFD television.
Ongoing issues under discussion include the use of antibiotics and the health and well-being of animals.
Laurin said she enjoys the opportunity to view cattle operations in other areas of the country. The organization once met in Hawaii, where a rancher member led them on a tour of his operation and explained how cattle are shipped to the mainland for finishing.
“It’s been neat,” she said. I’ve made a lot of friends from all over. I can call anyone for help.”
Laurin has veterinary clinics in Marion and Herington.