Scott Hurd
Scott Hurd

One of the livestock industry’s strongest voices has been silenced.

According to Meatingplace, Dr. Scott Hurd – a man whose hats included veterinarian, civil servant, and university professor – passed away last week.  

Hurd was vocal about many issues within the livestock industry, ranging from antibiotics use in food animals to animal welfare.

Many media outlets, including the Des Moines Register, National Public Radio, USA Today, Huffington Post, and ‘the Dr. Oz Show,’ looked to Hurd’s experience, research and knowledge for their articles and episodes. In 2012, he took Consumer Reports to task after the popular magazine questioned pork safety.

Hurd also maintained a blog on Meatinplace called “The Gentle Vet.”

Most recently, Hurd received the Industry Service Award at the National Pork Industry Forum, held earlier this month in Kansas City, Mo. Hurd was unable to attend the meet but responded to praise on Twitter:

Meatingplace reporter Rita Jane Gabbett collected many reactions to the passing of the industry’s beloved advocate: 

“Dr. Hurd was an outspoken champion for truth relative to farm animal and food safety issues,” said Kay Johnson Smith, CEO of the Animal Agriculture Alliance.  “He diligently corrected misinformation and the misrepresentation of the facts surrounding issues such as the important role of antibiotics in caring for animals, and he made complex issues such as food safety risk assessment understandable to the layman.  He was passionate, personable and enormously respected.  His passing is a great loss for all of us in animal agriculture.”

 “Scott believed in principle and acted on his beliefs.  He was a critical thinker who radiated pure joy in deciphering and sharing in simple language the complex notions of probability, risk, and consequence,” said Guy Loneragan, veterinary epidemiologist and professor of food safety and public health at Texas Tech University. “He could see and revel in both the serious and humorous sides of any issue.”

“Iowa State University and global animal agriculture has lost a wonderful gentleman, a world class epidemiologist and food scientist, a talented communicator and a tireless advocate for helping livestock farmers and the meat industry continuously improve best practices to feed the world," said Patrick Halbur, executive director of the ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. 

Hurd is survived by his wife, Susan, and his eight children. Visitation will be at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Ames, Iowa, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 6. Funeral mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 7.

A memorial fund is being set up to support parenting and family missions programs through the Regnum Christi Mission Corps, a youth formation and leadership training program. Donations can be written to Dr. Scott Hurd's Charitable Memorial Fund and sent to the family at 3275 400th Street, Roland, IA 50236.

Click here to read more about Hurd’s legacy at Meatingplace.