JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri has a new top veterinarian.

The state Department of Agriculture says Linda Hickam has been selected to lead the Division of Animal Health. She has served the past three years as Missouri's deputy state veterinarian and the state epidemiologist.

Hickam is a native of Columbia. She replaces state veterinarian Taylor Woods, who will remain at the department as a senior adviser on livestock industry issues.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.