VPM Food Animal Services (VPMFAS) is one of three clinical services programs at the OSU CVM. In the 1940’s a relationship developed between the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) farms and the OSU CVM. This partnership allowed OSU CVM students to gain clinical field experiences with the veterinarian who provided services to the ODRC farms. In 1991 the relationship evolved into a formal veterinary services contract and established the VPMFAS. This contract between the OSU VPM and ODRC provided service to oversee all animal health activities at all ODRC cow/calf, feedlot and dairy farm sites throughout the state of Ohio.
VPMFAS currently provides herd health, consulting, and emergency care to all ODRC beef and dairy farms 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 years. This now includes veterinary services, supplies, livestock performance data, and hoof trimming. The veterinary service is responsible for five dairy units with approximately 1,800 dairy animals and eight beef units that include cow/calf and feedlot operations consisting of approximately 5,000 head of beef cattle.,. Services are maintained by two clinical veterinary faculty and two staff positions.
Academic Programs Opportunities in VPMFAS
Veterinary and undergraduate students have opportunities through the core and elective VPM courses to visit farms with the clinicians and address population medicine, food safety, and public health issues. The total integration ”Farm to Fork” of the ODRC food production system includes complete processing of consumer ready dairy and beef products. This partnership has proven to be a valuable asset to the Department of VPM for research. The unique ODRC system allows investigators to track intervention strategies and their effect on all phases of the production chain, all of the way from the farm to the consumer. 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)
- Effect of intrauterine administration of gonadotropin releasing hormone on serum LH concentrations in lactating dairy cows.
- Comparison of Two Gonadorelin Formulations and Two Luteolytic Agents on Pregnancy Rates in Beef Cattle Synchronized with a 5-d CO-Synch + CIDR Program.
Elective Courses and Teaching offered by VPMFAS
The two faculty members in VPMFAS are directly involved in teaching the following courses: VMCOLL 7700.25 (team leader) and VMCOLL 7700.24 (instructor). VMCOLL 7700.25 (Advanced Preventive Medicine) has averaged 30 participants annually over the past five years. Students select this 2-week rotation to increase their food animal production and preventive medicine experience and to further prepare themselves for clinical practice upon graduation. In addition to the elective rotation, all fourth year veterinary students are educated by the VPMFAS in the core preventive medicine rotation (VMCOLL 7700.24) which involves instruction on beef and dairy production as well as tours and instruction in the ODRC meat packing, and the milk processing plants. Additionally faculty host and teach non-senior veterinary students from OSU, foreign visiting veterinarians, and scholars, foreign visiting students, and prospective veterinary undergraduate students. .
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. In addition, more involvement is planned for VPMFAS personnel in advising the ODRC Director to implement new aggressive production techniques and technologies to enhance production levels, efficiencies and move ODRC farms towards self-sufficiency.