Hall of Fame recognizes beef and dairy veterinarians for achievements and dedication

Since the veterinary profession began 250 years ago, veterinarians have been helping farmers and ranchers do what they do best – produce safe, nutritious food for the world. There is no one more dedicated to the health and well-being of animals than the cattle production veterinarian. And on Friday, nearly 1,300 attendees had the privilege of honoring two of these veterinarians, Gary P. Rupp, D.V.M., and Jenks S. Britt, D.V.M., at the annual Cattle Production Veterinarian Hall of Fame (CPVHOF) awards ceremony at the 48th American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) Annual Conference in New Orleans. Rupp and Britt were selected by their peers – including members of AABP and the Academy of Veterinary Consultants (AVC) – from a group of six beef and dairy veterinarian nominees.

"The beef and dairy industries have been fortunate to benefit from the wisdom and advancements provided by these two remarkable veterinarians," said Brent Meyer, D.V.M., beef cattle technical services, Merck Animal Health. "From the K-R Spay device designed by Dr. Rupp, to the Bov Eq Embryo Transfer Service developed by Dr. Britt, the innovations from these two men have significantly advanced beef and dairy cattle management and bovine reproduction."

Established in 2011, CPVHOF honors the traditions of production veterinary medicine and the individuals who have made a lasting impact on the profession. Through early mornings, late nights and harsh weather conditions, veterinarians are a steadfast and essential part of cattle production. The CPVHOF celebrates the rich traditions of cattle production veterinary medicine by honoring the exceptional men and women who have made lasting contributions to their profession. Inductees are true pioneers whose achievements span their entire careers. The Hall of Fame is sponsored by Merck Animal Health, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, the Academy of Veterinary Consultants, Bovine Veterinarian magazine and Osborn Barr.

Gary P. Rupp, D.V.M. – Beef Inductee
Gary P. Rupp received his D.V.M. from Colorado State University in 1964. After graduating, he spent two years teaching at the University of California-Davis. He then moved to Meeker, Colorado to enter private practice. After nearly eight years in practice, he left to pursue an opportunity to study ruminant nutrition and reproduction at Colorado State University in outpatient teaching. In 1983, Rupp accepted a position as associate professor at Texas A&;M University in Beef Cattle Herd Health. In 1988, he took an opportunity to direct a unique program with the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, which became the University of Nebraska's Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center (GPVEC). Since leaving the university in 2010, he has operated a seedstock Angus operation in Oak, Nebraska.

"Receiving this honor is a deeply humbling experience, as I have not totally convinced myself that I measure up," said Rupp. "I feel very fortunate to have spent most of my life working with and learning from livestock producers, veterinary practitioners, and others to make livestock production as good as it can be. I have always been impressed with the emotional connection those who work in the cattle industry have for the animals and environment."

With others, Rupp initiated the Cow-Calf Computerized Herd Health-Management Record System and was actively involved in the development of the Kimberling-Rupp Spay instrument. Along with the faculty at GPVEC, he also designed and implemented a variety of clinical teaching programs and began the Beef Cattle Production Management Series. Rupp has been a member of numerous state and national veterinary and beef cattle organizations.

Jenks S. Britt, D.V.M. – Dairy Inductee
Jenks S. Britt, D.V.M., graduated from Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1970. Shortly after graduating, he joined the Logan County Animal Clinic where he was a partner until 1993. Simultaneously, he and his partners established Bov Eq Embryo Transfer Service, and Animal Health Management. In 1993, after a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, Britt joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin College of Veterinary Medicine until 1998. He then returned to Western Kentucky University and became a professor of the Department of Agriculture, serving as chair until 2004 and then professor until his retirement in 2008. He has continued to work as a private consultant to many dairy farms throughout the United States and Mexico.

"Being selected by one's peers is the highest award an individual can receive," said Britt. "It was an honor to be nominated and a surprise to be selected with two other highly qualified candidates. I salute Merck Animal Health, AABP, AVC, Bovine Veterinarian magazine and Osborn Barr for sponsoring this award."

Britt is board certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners – Dairy. He has served on the Boards of Directors of several industry organizations, and was president of AABP in 1985. A few of Britt's many honors and awards include the AABP Practitioner of the Year Award in 1992 and the AABP Mentor Award in 2011