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VPM Food Animal Services
VPM Food Animal Services (VPMFAS) is one of three clinical services programs at the OSU CVM. It originated through a relationship with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) farms in the 1940’s. At that time, OSU veterinary students had the opportunity to select field experiences with the ODRC veterinarian who provided services to the farms. The relationship continued, and in 1991 evolved into a formal veterinary services contract with VPM to oversee all animal health activities at 10 different farm sites throughout the state of Ohio.
VPMFAS currently provides herd health, advanced reproductive technologies, and emergency care to 10 farms in 10 different counties throughout the state of Ohio. It is the largest single vertically-integrated farming operation and production system in the State of Ohio and includes a meat harvest and processing plant and a dairy pasteurization and packaging unit.
The contract for services with ODRC has grown over the past eight years. This includes veterinary services, supplies, livestock performance data, and pathogen monitoring in the meat processing plant. The veterinary services in the last 15 years has been responsible for five dairy units with approximately 1,800 dairy animals, 10 beef units with 5,000 beef cattle, and five swine units with 6,000 swine. Services are maintained by two full-time clinical faculty, one resident, two interns, and one staff position.
Academic Programs Opportunities in VPMFAS
The program has three veterinary post-graduate training positions: one theriogenology residency position and two internship positions in food animal practice in a shared rotating position with the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Food and Fiber Animal section and with Ohio State Large Animal Services at Marysville.
Veterinary and undergraduate students have opportunities through the core VPM course to visit farms with the clinicians and address population medicine issues, food safety and public health. Due to the ”Farm to Fork” food production system including complete processing (dairy and meat) all of the way to the final consumer, it has proven to be a valuable asset to the Department of VPM for research areas in which intervention and practices in the production chain can be tracked all of the way from the farm to consumption. Below are some highlights of publications and research conducted by VPMFAS collaboratively with other units such as the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and the Department of Animal Sciences:
- Influence of follicular maturity at ovulation, addition of a progestin to the Cosync program, and combination of 72h calf-removal with the short-term MGA-select protocol on fertility in beef cattle.
- Trough Design on Microbial Contamination of Livestock Drinking Water.
- Selective dry treating of dairy cattle longitudinal study to determine if selective dry cow therapy would be an effective mastitis control measure for U.S. dairies.
- Johne’s Disease Prospective Study – 2.5-year study in the relationship of farm prevalence of the causative agent of Johne’s disease to a number of herd level and individual cow factors.
- Yersinia enterocolitica in Ohio Swine Production – study to measure the prevalence patterns of this infectious agent in swine production.
- Comparison of Stand Longevity for Endophyte-Free Fescue and Non-toxic Endophyte Fescue
- Quality Assurance for the meat-packing plant is continuously monitored for food safety purposes by food safety researchers in the VPM Department.
VPMFAS also provided training services (Cochran Fellowship and United States Agency for International Development [USAID]) and hosted foreign veterinarians, research fellows and students from several countries (e.g., Uganda, Namibia, Egypt, Ghana, Brazil, India, Australia, and Uruguay).
Elective Courses and Teaching offered by VPMFAS
The two faculty members in VPMFAS are directly involved in teaching the following courses: VPM 700.08 (team leader) and VPM 711.01 (instructor). In the past five years, VPMFAS had a yearly average of 30 participants which includes non-senior veterinary students from OSU, foreign visiting veterinarians, and scholars, foreign visiting students and prospective veterinary undergraduate students. These students selected this 2-week rotation in order to increase their food animal medicine experience. In addition to the elective rotation, all fourth year veterinary students are educated by the VPMFAS in the core preventive medicine rotation (VM 700.08) which may include beef production, dairy production, meat packing plant, or the milk processing plant.
Future Plans of VPMFAS
The future plan for VPMFAS is to maintain the recent growth of the contract with ODRC and to enhance overall program goals to build new internships and residency programs and strengthen existing academic programs. VPMFAS plans to initiate more applied and animal welfare research programs which will be facilitated by an animal welfare scientist. In addition, more involvement is planned for VPMFAS personnel in advising the ODRC Director on reorganizing ODRC farms to become more self-sufficient.
- Dr. Luke Heider (heider [dot] 11 [at] osu [dot] edu)
- Dr. Troy Brick (brick [dot] 16 [at] osu [dot] edu)
- Dr. Santiago Bas (bas [dot] 1 [at] osu [dot] edu)
- Greg Messerschmidt (messerschmidt [dot] 8 [at] osu [dot] edu)
Our internship program begins on July 1st each year and concludes on June 30th of the following year. It is a Large Animal Internship rotating through the Food and Fiber Animal Section within Veterinary Clinical Sciences (3 months), OSU Large Animal Services in Marysville (3 months), and VPM Food Animal Services (3 months). At the end of the three rotations, the Intern may select the experience of their choice to repeat for the remaining 3 months.