Alumni News | General News

Veterinarians Recognized at Swine Practitioner Meeting

[Dr. Lehman, Dr. Billing, Dr. Johnson]

Three swine veterinarians with Illinois connections received honors at this year’s American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) Annual Meeting.

To read about 10 Illinois veterinary student who were recognized for their research contributions at the meeting, please see “Illinois Students Repeat Strong Showing at AASV.”

Dr. James (Jamie) Lehman was awarded the AASV Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinary of the Year Award. The award is given for proficiency and effectiveness in delivery of veterinary service as well as service to the AASV and the swine industry.

AASV says Dr. Lehman was selected for his trustworthiness, leadership, and “ability to bring people with conflicting opinions together.”

Dr. Lehman earned his bachelor’s degree, DVM (1989), and master’s degree (2006) from the University of Illinois. He is a technical service manager for Merck Animal Health.

Dr. Melissa Billing, a swine key account veterinarian for Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, was one of three recipients of Hogg Scholarships. The AASV Foundation makes these awards to swine practitioners who are pursuing graduate studies after years in practice. Dr. Billing, a 2005 Ohio State DVM graduate, plans to put the scholarship toward her Master of Veterinary Science degree in livestock systems health at the University of Illinois.

Dr. Henry Johnson, a 2017 Illinois DVM graduate, received one of three Dr Conrad and Judy Schmidt Family Student Debt Relief Endowment scholarships. These awards consist of $5,000 given to early-career swine practitioners. Recipients must spend at least 50% of their time providing on-farm service to independent pork producers. Dr. Johnson is a veterinarian with the Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minn. He works with numerous family farms, focusing on training production staff in their important role in animal care. He also actively mentors the next generation of swine veterinarians.

By Haley Bickelhaupt