The 2010 Spring Academy of Veterinary Consultants was held last week in Dallas. The theme for this group representing about 800 cow-calf, stocker and feedlot veterinarians focused on cattle raising and the environment. Presentations focused on greenhouse gases, air quality, cap and trade legislation, climate changes, riparian areas/grazing and more.

Immediate Past President Kelly Lechtenberg, DVM, PhD, Midwest Veterinary Services, Oakland, Neb., explains why this was important.

“I am alarmed there is such a number of new legislative and regulatory mandates that are looming to dismantle the production systems that have provided the low cost, wholesome food that has allowed our country to be the envy of the world for the last century," he said. "I have traditionally been comforted that good science and high integrity will always win the day. I no longer believe that is adequate. Our production systems are under attack by a minority of people with nefarious agendas who have successfully recruited millions of our well-intended fellow citizens. Consulting veterinarians find ourselves in the role as educators in our daily activities. We need to expand the audience and help educate consumers about the realities of livestock production.”

Many of the issues that we are facing will impact the entire chain of production, Lechtenberg continues.

“As the original stewards of the environment, the nation’s cattlemen/women and the veterinarians who serve them must seek to understand the implications of the regulations being brought by environmental activists," he said. "We must seek to help mainstream America understand our systems, be willing to improve areas in our system that warrant improvement and educate voters about the truth of agricultural production.”