S.D. Veterinary Medical Association holds annual meeting

Farm Forum

The South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association held its 122nd Annual Meeting at the Ramkota Convention Center in Sioux Falls August 11-14. The meeting included continuing education opportunities for over 200 veterinarians and veterinary technicians, recognized outstanding accomplishments by professionals in the veterinary fields, and included the annual membership meeting.

The meeting featured sessions on companion animal, food animal, equine medicine, and social networking, and included case reports from SDSU Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab faculty involving current animal disease issues.

Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award is an award to honor an individual who has brought distinction to the veterinary profession through his/her devotion to the care and well-being of animals, support for the profession, and contributions to the community.

The recipient of this award was Dr. George Twitero of Rapid City. Dr. Twitero is practicing at the Black Hills Animal Hospital along with Dr. Mike Anderson and Dr. Melissa Mez.

Twitero grew up on a farm near Sisseton. He went to South Dakota State University for his pre-vet, and received his DVM degree from the University of Minnesota. He served a hitch in the Army Veterinary Corps after graduation, including a year in Korea.

Dr. Twitero started in large animal practice in Milbank under the guidance of Dr. Dale Foss and Dr. Wendell Peden. He moved to Rapid City in 1972 where he and Dr. Peden were in partnership in a companion animal practice-the Black Hills Animal Hospital.

Dr. Twitero is very active in his community. He and his wife Shari attend First Presbyterian Church in Rapid City.

Veterinarian of the Year

Dr. James Stangle of Milesville was honored as SDVMA’s Veterinarian of the Year. This award is made annually to an SDVMA member who has contributed significantly to the veterinary profession and to the animals and clients he serves.

Stangle grew up in western South Dakota. After earning his DVM from Colorado State in 1989, he returned to western South Dakota to practice. He started his own clinic in 1996, added a satellite clinic in 1998, and hired an associate in 1999. He practices mainly large animal.

Dr. Stangle has sponsored numerous veterinary and vet tech students doing their internships. He is a sponsor of FFA and 4-H. He loves to teach and share his knowledge.

Jim is a member of SDVMA, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Academy of Veterinary Consultants, and Society of Theriogenology. He served on the SDVMA executive board and is a past SDVMA President.

Jim lives in Milesville with his wife Linda and 4 children, Jennifer, Sam, Ben, and Mark.

Emerging Leader Award

The Emerging Leader award is made to an SDVMA member who graduated from veterinary school in the last 10 years and has displayed outstanding accomplishments in veterinary research, private practice, regulatory services, civic activities, and/or organized veterinary medicine.

Dr. Dustin Oedekoven received the Emerging Leader award. Dr. Oedekoven serves as the State Veterinarian and Executive Secretary for the SD Animal Industry Board (AIB), a position he was appointed to in 2009. He began his career with the SD Animal Industry Board in 2003 as a Staff Veterinarian. In 2006, he accepted the position of Assistant State Veterinarian.

Oedekoven grew up on a ranch near Sturgis. He graduated from Sturgis High School in 1995. He attended South Dakota State University from 1995 to 1998 and received a BS in Animal Science. Pursuit of a degree in veterinary medicine took him to Ames, Iowa where he graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. He began his veterinary career in Sheridan, Wyoming at an equine referral hospital prior to returning to South Dakota.

Throughout his life Dr. Oedekoven has been an active member of numerous professional, public, student and community oriented organizations. He currently serves on the United States Animal Health Association’s Board of Directors and as the Chair for the Committee on Tuberculosis. He also serves on the SDSU Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory Advisory Board. During his career with the SD AIB he has facilitated the structuring of South Dakota animal health laws dealing with Trichomoniasis, Johne’s, Scrapie, and CWD control along with effectively administering those laws that have been long established.

Oedekoven and his wife Jenn make their home in Pierre with their children Morgan, Madison, Alex, and Sarah.

Outstanding Veterinary Technician

The Outstanding Veterinary Technician award is made to a registered veterinary technician who has provided outstanding support to veterinary medicine through dedication to the care and well-being of animals and professional knowledge and execution in service to the profession.

Dennis Lively was named this year’s Outstanding Veterinary Technician. Dennis was instrumental in developing the South Dakota Association of Veterinary Technicians and served as president/treasurer for a number of years. He served as president of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians (NAVT) in 2005 and was a member of the NAVTA Executive Board for 3 years. In 2007, he became a member of the NAVTA staff as head of advertising, which he did for several years.

Lively attended Pittsburgh State University in Pittsburgh, Kansas and graduated with a degree in education. After his time with the Air Force he attended the University of Minnesota – Waseca graduating in 1976 with a degree in Veterinary Technology. In