The 2017 edition of the Allen D. Leman swine conference held in St. Paul, MN will be remembered as a special one : a tribute to our dear friend and colleague Dr. Bob Morrison whose untimely passing earlier this year stunned the swine world.
Bob was a dedicated advocate for the swine industry, passionate about doing relevant work that will help producers. Man of the utmost integrity, he was a leading force in our world, striving to get better every single day. Bob was also the coordinator of the Allen D. Leman swine conference for many years and even if he was not seen walking down the hallways of the St. Paul RiverCentre, his presence was heavily felt throughout the four days of the conference. Around 1,000 participants gathered from all around the world to attend this annual event designed to provide science-driven solutions to problems encountered on swine farms.
At the opening of the conference, both Dr. Trevor Ames, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota and Dr. Gordon Spronk, lifelong friend of Bob, honored Bob’s memory and urged the swine industry to continue his legacy.
On Monday, Gary Louis and Dr. Luc Dufresne from Seaboard Foods gave a keynote lecture on their perspective of what it means to pursue initiatives for the greater good as an integrator whereas Dr. Bob Thompson received the Leman Science in Practice award and shared his experience and advice with young practitioners during the Breakfast Conversations. A lot of high quality research posters were displayed during the reception sponsored by Tonisity and some of our graduate students were among the six selected as best poster presentations.
The new DVM student session showed us that the next generation of veterinarians is curious, passionate about the swine industry and eager to solve its challenges. We will continue this session and enhance it with the creation of the Morrison Swine Innovator Prize which was unveiled during the Science in Practice reception sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.
On Tuesday, the keynote session was centered around coopetition, or the act of cooperating with your competitors as Rebecca Liu from Lancaster University explained. Dr. Noel Williams from Iowa Select Farms and Dr. Joel Nerem from Pipestome Systems both gave their perspective on how coopetition works in the swine world. One of the example mentioned was the Morrsion Swine Health Monitoring Program (MSHMP), a project Bob was passionate about, which allows producers to share information such as disease status and work together towards better swine health for all participants.
Most importantly, we would like to thank all of you for your continuing support. The Allen D. Leman swine conference would not exist without you and we hope to see you next year: September 15-18, 2018.