Megan Bloemer, U of Illinois student, receives the Morrison Swine Innovator Prize

Megan Bloemer (right) receives the Morrison Swine Innovator Prize from Dr. Perle Boyer (left).

University of Illinois veterinary student Megan Bloemer has received the first-ever Morrison Swine Innovator Prize, a new award given to veterinary students who want to specialize in swine medicine. The award was presented at the annual Allen D. Leman Swine Conference in St. Paul, MN.

All North American veterinary students with an interest in swine health and production were eligible. Bloemer’s presentation on reducing the risks of disease transmission at truck washes helped her rise to the top among the seven student finalists.  The Bloomington, IL native says her project was an eye-opener.

“I didn’t know a lot about how truck washes worked and the amount of moving parts required prior to this project,” Bloemer says. “What was most interesting for me was the amount of hard work that goes into cleaning these trailers every day and just how critical they are for protecting herd health.”

Bloemer is a third-year veterinary student and hopes to find either a swine production company or swine veterinary clinic where she can add value by interacting with farm staff and improving herd health.

Bloemer received a cash award of $7,500 plus complimentary registration and travel costs to attend the Leman Swine Conference. The Morrison Swine Innovator Prize honors the legacy of the late Bob Morrison, DVM, PhD, MBA, who coordinated the conference for many years. The award is sponsored by leading swine producers, veterinary practices, and industry partners.

The 2018 Leman conference starts this week-end!

Are you ready for the 2018 Leman conference? Come see us starting September 15th at the Saint Paul RiverCentre.

Why come to the Leman conference?

  • For the scientific program built around science-driven solutions, with international speakers
  • For the networking opportunities with hundreds of participants from the swine industry
  • Continuing Education credits available for veterinarians
  • Flu vaccination clinic sponsored by Newport Laboratories


Who should attend the Allen D. Leman swine conference?

Swine veterinarians and other professionals working in swine production and animal health management are welcome to attend.

This year in the program:

  • Keynote presentations:
    • Morrison Lecture: New Fashion Pork: Our Integrated History by Brad Freking and Deb Murray
    • Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae: Where are we at and where are we going? by Maria Pieters
    • Trade in Pigs and Pork: Challenges for an Exporting Nation by
      Becca Martin and Randy Spronk
    • Pijoan Lecture: 30 Years of PRRS: A Platform for Progress by Michael Murtaugh
  • Dr. Rebecca Robbins to receive the Science in Practice award sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Beer and Bacon conversations: Dr. Matt Turner will be interviewed by Dr. Marie Culhane on Sunday September 15th at 5:15pm
  • The Morrison Swine Innovator Prize will be awarded for the first time on Monday September 16th
  • Special African Swine Fever session chair by John Deen on Monday September 15th

We are looking forward to seeing you next week but if you cannot make it, make sure to come see us next year: Sept 14-17, 2019 !

Best of Leman 2017 series #9: P. Davies – Emerging Issues in Antibiotic Resistance Linked to Use in Food Animals

We launched a new series on the blog in October. Once a month, we are sharing with you a presentation given at the 2017 Allen D. Leman swine conference, on topics that the swine group found interesting, innovative or that lead to great discussions.

Our 9th presentation is by Dr. Peter Davies regarding Emerging Issues in Antibiotic Resistance Linked to Use in Food Animals.

The 2018 Leman Swine Conference is in a few weeks, register now!

To listen to this talk, please click on the image below.


What is new for the 2018 Leman Swine Conference?

Registration for the 2018 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference is open!

We are looking forward to welcoming you in the beautiful St. Paul, right by the Mississippi river for another exceptional science-driven program. We keep innovating to bring you even more quality content and we are proud to present these new initiatives.

Honoring Dr. Bob Morrison

Morrison Lecture

For the first time, the Morrison lecture will become a prominent feature of the Leman Program. This keynote lecture in honor of Dr. Morrison is given to individuals that do work that matters to the swine industry. The inaugural Morrison Lecture will be presented by Dr. Brad Freking of New Fashion Pork, and a graduate of our DVM program.

Morrison Swine Innovator Prize

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We also wanted to recognize Bob’s dedication to DVM education and innovation. For the second year, swine focused DVM students from across the country have been invited to presenting on Sunday afternoon on practice-ready tips and problem solving skills. This year, the presentations will be formally judged and the student giving the most outstanding presentation will be awarded the Morrison Swine Innovator Prize.

Morrison Fellowship

A further part of the Morrison Legacy Fund initiative is the Morrison Fellowship. This fellowship will be awarded annually to a graduate student who is dedicated to research in swine health and production. Dr. Alyssa Betlach is the first recipient of the Morrison fellowship, and we look forward to her contributions in the area of Mycoplasma control to improve herd productivity.

Keynotes lectures

Pijoan Lecture

This year Pijoan Lecture will be given by Dr. Mike Murtaugh in the topic of PRRS after 30 years of having affected the swine industry and how such devastating disease has become a model for advancing progress in the swine industry.

The Pijoan Lecture is named in honor of Dr. Carlos Pijoan for his work in the area of swine respiratory disease and the influence of swine production systems on the dynamics of microorganisms such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, Haemophilus parasuis, Streptococcus suis, and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae.

Distinguished Lecture

This year Distinguished Lecture will be given by Alida Sorenson and Dr. Scott Dee and will cover the important topic of food and feed transboundary biosecurity.

Science in Practice

The 2018 Leman Science in Practice Award recipient is Dr. Rebecca Robbins. Dr. Rebecca Robbins is the senior production veterinarian for Seaboard Foods.  Based in Guymon, Okla., she and her veterinary team are responsible for the health and well-being of 280,000 Seaboard Foods sows farrow-to-finish located in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Rebecca serves on Seaboard Foods’ research and development team, which coordinates an average of 45 studies per year.

Dr. Robbins is chairing a session on the problems and solutions for integrated pork production on Monday afternoon. Experts will share their perspectives on what it means to be a veterinarians in a system and how to approach feeding and disease challenges.

Beer and Bacon Conversations

sizzling-2650322_1920We are excited to try a new format for our Conversation Series. Instead of trying to coax people out of bed first thing Monday morning, we now will tempt you to join in a Beer and Bacon Conversation session on Sunday afternoon. Our first conversation in the new format will be with Dr. Mathew Turner who will discuss with Dr. Marie Culhane his views on pigs, the industry, and life as a swine veterinarian. Who can resist beer and bacon?

You don’t want to miss it! Register today!

DVM students: we invite you to apply to the Morrison Swine Innovator Prize!

Veterinary students: Are you shadowing a swine practitioner this summer or have you been involved in an interesting clinical case investigation? Did you work on your veterinary skills by designing a differential diagnosis list or working on a treatment plan? Did you investigate a problem by analyzing production records? Share your work at the Allen D. Leman Swine Conference to win the Morrison Swine Innovator Prize!

Attending the Leman Conference is a great opportunity for veterinary students who want to network with industry leaders. Submissions to enter in the selection to present at the DVM student session at the Leman Conference should be uploaded at by August 15th at the end of the day.


If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Perle Boyer at For more information about the Morrison Swine Innovator Prize visit

Beer and Bacon conversations: a new session at the Leman swine conference!

The organizing committee of the Allen D. Leman swine conference is proud to present a new session: Beer and Bacon conversations! The goal of this unique session is to invite industry leaders to share personal views and experiences with participants in a fun and relaxed environment.


This year, we are honored that Dr. Matthew Turner, veterinarian and head of pork live operations at JBS, accepted our invitation.

A graduate of North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Turner joined JBS after being a staff swine veterinarian for Prestage Farms for more than 10 years. He was recognized by the American Association of Swine Veterinarian as the 2014 Swine Practitioner of the year and presented the Dr. Alex Hogg Memorial Lecture at the 2017 AASV annual meeting. Dr. Turner is currently an at large member of the Board of Directors of the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC).

The session will be held at the InterContinental hotel on Sunday, September 16th at 5:15pm. Dr. Marie Culhane will get the conversation started but participation from the audience is more than welcome!

Seating for this event is limited. Do mot miss out by registering today!

Dr. Rebecca Robbins to Receive 2018 Allen D. Leman Science in Practice Award

Rebecca Robbins (1) (1)(1)The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine has named Rebecca Robbins, DVM, PhD, as the 2018 recipient of the Allen D. Leman Science in Practice award. Robbins is the senior production veterinarian for Seaboard Foods, one of the nation’s leading pork producers and processors.

The Science in Practice award is given each year at the Allen D. Leman Swine Conference in St. Paul, Minn. It is the industry’s premier award for swine practitioners who have shown an exceptional ability to use science in day-to-day practice. Nominations and selection of the winner are determined by a swine faculty planning committee at the University.

The 2018 award recognizes Robbins’ service on Seaboard Foods’ research and development team, which coordinates an average of 45 studies annually. She also participates in university research projects and has served on numerous industry advisory boards. Robbins’ research interests are in the use of antibiotics in pork production, epidemiology, and management of mycoplasmas, PRRSv, and PEDv in integrated systems.

“For more than 20 years this award has honored some of the most accomplished veterinary leaders in the swine industry,” says Montse Torremorell, DVM, PhD, and professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine at the University. “We are excited to honor Dr. Robbins and to have the support of Boehringer Ingelheim for this award.”

Boehringer Ingelheim sponsors the reception for the Science in Practice award. “Boehringer Ingelheim is pleased to join the University of Minnesota in congratulating Dr. Robbins, an outstanding swine practitioner whose work ensures pig health is a priority from start to finish,” says Jens Kjaer, DVM, MBA, senior associate director for swine technical marketing for Boehringer Ingelheim. “BI is committed to supporting swine industry leaders in their pursuit of knowledge and science to drive innovative solutions.”

The Allen D. Leman Swine Conference will be held September 15-18, 2018 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. From its beginning in 1974, the conference has presented information and issues pertinent to the swine industry. The conference has transformed from a meeting in a small lecture hall to the annual, international conference with more than 800 participants that we know it as today.

Visit for more information.