General News

EVP Beef Is Back: For Cow-Calf Practitioners Ready to Grow

[beef cattle]

EVP Beef Starts in November 2021

A career-changing certificate program for beef cattle veterinarians is ready to launch. The question for practitioners is: Are you ready to relaunch your career?

Last spring the global pandemic put a hold on the second offering of the Executive Veterinary Program (EVP) in Beef Cattle Health Management, delivered by the University of Illinois in collaboration with Iowa State University. The new start date is November 2021, and the program will conclude in January 2023. The deadline for the early registration discount is September 12.


The first EVP Beef class concluded in 2018. That program was built upon the successful EVP model honed over the past 30 years to supercharge the skills of elite swine practitioners.

It’s a chance to kick-start your practice, to move from focusing on the day-to-day grind of putting in a prolapse to thinking more broadly about the services you offer producers, from conception to consumption.

Dr. Dan Thomson | Organization

EVP Beef is coordinated by three veterinarians with over 100 years of combined experience in advancing the knowledge and practice of animal health and production.

  • Terry Engelken, a professor at Iowa State University, has extensive experience as a field service clinician, educator, and researcher in bovine health and cow herd profitability.
  • Jim Lowe, an associate professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and an international consultant in both the swine and the beef industries, has been designing EVP curricula since 2009.
  • Dan Thomson, an internationally known leader in beef cattle production and animal welfare, helped bring the EVP model to beef practitioners. He spent 15 years on the faculty at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, where he founded the Beef Cattle Institute. He also chaired the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State.

These leaders curate an array of world-class experts who meet with the EVP classmates to explore industry-relevant topics.

Why EVP Beef?

Thomson offers two key motivators and benefits for practitioners.

“Number one, EVP Beef is really a second veterinary class. You are forming a network of bovine practitioners and veterinarians across the country and beyond,” he said. “The other benefit is the exposure to industry experts who share forward-thinking clinical strategies based in an understanding of real-world beef production.”

[Dan Thomson and Jim Lowe]
Interested in hearing more about the EVP Beef program benefits from two of the coordinators? Don’t miss the latest Round Barn Podcast! Listen or download here.

According to Thomson, the EVP format is especially beneficial for cow-calf practitioners, who often work in isolated conditions.

“By stepping away from your practice every other month to meet with peers, you open your mind to new possibilities,” he said. “It’s a chance to kick-start your practice, to move from focusing on the day-to-day grind of putting in a prolapse to thinking more broadly about the services you offer producers, from conception to consumption.”

Lowe added: “Today’s food animal veterinarians need not only a robust understanding of medicine but also leadership, systems management, communication, and data analysis skills,” he said. “These are things you didn’t learn in veterinary school.”

Course Logistics

Through a series of eight two-day modules held every other month, instructors will cover such topics as “Improving Outcomes Through Clinical Reasoning and Effective Therapeutics,” “Rethinking Data: Closing the Gap Between Analysis and Action,” and “Understanding Our Customers and the 21st Century Food Supply Chain.”

The Executive Veterinary Program in Beef Cattle Health Management will take place in Omaha, Neb. The 15-month course leads to a certificate from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Enrollment is capped at 40 to foster group discussion and relationship building.

The cost of tuition is $9,000. Registrations placed by April 5 will receive a $1,500 early registration discount. A deposit is required at the time of registration, with the balance paid in four installments.

For details about the dates, course content, and instructors, and to register, visit, email, or call 217-333-2907.

What Do EVP Graduates Say about The Program?

Dr. Wade Taylor, a consultant with Production Animal Consultation based in Oakley, Kan.: “Great interaction with other like-minded professionals.” That, along with “great instruction” are reasons Dr. Taylor says he “would highly recommend this program.”

Dr. Cameron Hall, Beef Production Services, in Columbia, Mo.: “First was the connections and friendships I gained. I am in regular contact with several classmates and have developed both personal and professional relationships with them. Second, I credit EVP with changing my paradigm with regard to my approach to practicing beef medicine. I have launched a consulting practice, something I would never have had the courage, knowledge, or confidence to do before EVP.”

Dr. Jake Geis, of Sioux Nation Ag Center in Freeman, S.D.: “I felt it was immensely valuable to rub shoulders with some of the top minds in beef medicine. The setting was small enough for me to ask detailed questions to truly understand a topic. And with the caliber of people in the room, there was plenty of opportunity for rebuttal and discussion.”

Dr. Bob Taylor, Lonetree Ranch, Wyo., and former star of Animal Planet’s Emergency Vets in Denver, Colo.: “The quality, content, and interest shown by the instructors was world class and provided some of the best learning opportunities I have experienced in 50 years as a veterinarian.”