Carpenter, Headlees honored by fellow veterinarians |

Carpenter, Headlees honored by fellow veterinarians

Dr. Travis White, left, handed the President’s gavel over to the incoming president, Dr. Michelle Jensen, Harrisburg.

The South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association held its 126th Annual Meeting at the Ramkota Convention Center in Sioux Falls from Aug. 13-16. 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 Dr. Jason Sweitzer, DVM, a nationally known speaker on mental health and suicide prevention in the veterinary profession. Companion animal topics included anesthesia and soft tissue surgery. Large animal topics included calf scours treatment and management, sheep and goat parasitology and medicine, and equine emergency and field procedures, as well as updates from SDSU’s Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab.  

Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award is awarded 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. This individual exemplifies the profession, both personally and professionally, through support of veterinary medicine, research, colleagues, and/or students and through civic participation. This individual’s contributions have advanced the profession and serve as an inspiration to veterinarians and the clients he serves.

Dr. Larry Carpenter of Sturgis was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Carpenter graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine DVM in 1982 (with honor). He received a Masters Degree in Veterinary Surgery in 1991 from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He had a Residency in Small Animal Surgery at the University of Colorado from 1988-1991. He attained Diplomate Status with the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1992. In 1998, he graduated from the US Army War College.

Dr. Carpenter served in the US Army 25 years, starting as a private (E1) in October 1972 at Ft Leonard Wood, MO. He retired as Director of the Military Working Dog Hospital, Lackland AFB, San Antonio TX at the rank of Colonel (O-6) in August 2003. He served as Consultant to the US Army Surgeon General on Military Working Dogs from 2000 – 2003.

While deployed to Haiti in 1995, his soldier team conducted “Operation Mad Dog” in coordination with the Haitian Ministry of Health, the UN Mission to Haiti, the Pan American Health Organization, and the Christian Veterinary Mission. Together, they set up “street corner” vaccination stations and vaccinated nearly 10,000 dogs and cats against rabies in Port Au Prince Haiti.

After retirement from the military, Dr. Carpenter had a small animal surgical practice, Veterinary Surgical Service PC, from September 2003 to December 2015.

Dr. Carpenter has been married to his wife, Nancy, for 46 years. They have two daughters.

In addition to his veterinary work, he serves as Secretary of the Sturgis Alliance of Churches and is a member of Christian Veterinary Mission.

Veterinarian of the Year

Dr. William Headlee and Dr. Norma Headlee are co-recipients of the Veterinarian of the Year award. 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. The award recognizes a member for service and accomplishments benefitting the profession of veterinary medicine.

William and Norma both graduated from Kadoka High school in 1971 and completed their undergraduate courses at South Dakota State University in 1974. They went on to graduate from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1978.

William and Norma have been operating a successful practice in their home town of Kadoka for 39 years. This career includes many highlights:

• Adapting to the new technology as it became available including — x-ray machines (yes, that was unique in 1978), automatic x-ray processor, now up to digital x-ray.

• Computerizing medical records and billing systems by 1984

• Fabricating a customized double chute in their garage for spaying heifers

• Bringing in-house blood work capabilities in the late ’80s.

• They were among the first veterinarians in SD to use ultrasound for reproductive exams in horses and cattle

• They have built an equine hospital to serve the needs of their clients.

They did all of this while raising five children. Their children graduated from Kadoka High School and went on to various professions including 2 family practitioners, 1 veterinarian, 1 high school chemistry teacher and 1 college professor.

They volunteered countless hours to community projects, the most notable being the construction of the all-weather track at Kadoka. They were instrumental in starting the Belvidere Christian School and Bill also served on the school board in Kadoka.

As one nominator noted “There are probably a million stories their clients could tell about all of the amazing things they have done over the years. The thing that was truly amazing is how they did it day in and day out in such a manner that all of us watching thought this is what all parents do for their kids.”

While they have practiced side by side, they each have their own hobbies. Norma is an avid gardener and has cultivated not only her yearly vegetable garden, but has managed to get fruit trees and grapes to grow in western South Dakota. When she’s not tending to the chickens, she also does restoration of antiques, plays the piano, and is a fabulous cook.

Bill enjoys tending to his Angus cow herd with his dogs Jackie and Sammy. He had the opportunity to hunt for moose in British Columbia and enjoys taking the kids and grandkids hunting at home. He enjoys collecting firearms and learning about reloading ammunition. This last year, he started a restoration of a log cabin from his family’s ranch.

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. This award is intended to recognize the immense talent we have entering the profession in our state.

Dr. Eric Knock, Miller, received the 2017 SDVMA Emerging Leader Award. Dr. Knock graduated with a bachelor of science in animal sciences from SDSU in 2003. He received his DVM from Iowa State University in 2007. He was a recipient of the AABP Amstutz Scholarship.

Dr. Knock began his career at Miller Vet Clinic with Dr. Fred Hubbard. He then purchased the clinic from Dr. Hubbard. The clinic is now known as the Prairie View Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Knock has grown the clinic from one location to three clinic locations and went from being sole practitioner to having four additional veterinarians along with a number of veterinary assistants and employees. He has mentored and employed a number of newly graduated veterinarians along with high school, technical school, undergraduate, and veterinary students. His clinic has hosted the local FFA Veterinary Science contest several times.

He has developed a number of services for cow-calf clients in the area including ultrasound for carcass traits and pregnancy staging along with embryo flushing and transfer. Eric also served on the SDVMA Continuing Education committee.

Dr. Knock and his wife Roxanne have four children, Rylee (8), RaeAnna (6), Rielle (3), and Roy (1). They have a cow-calf operation near Tulare where they raise registered Hereford cattle along with commercial Angus and crossbred cattle. Eric also has been active in the Hand County Livestock and Crop Improvement Association and in the Tulare United Church.

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.

Nicole Wrage was named the 2017 Outstanding Veterinary Technician. She graduated from Dell Rapids High School. Nicole started as a kennel attendant at Dell Rapids Vet Clinic and went on to obtain her veterinary technician degree from Globe University while working at the clinic.

She is constantly stepping up to the plate. According to her colleagues, there is no skill too tough for her to tackle and she works hard until she masters new assignments. She is currently enrolled in University of Tennessee Canine Rehabilitation course to continue improving her skills. She is BQA certified and trained in bovine ultrasound for reproduction and Dairy Comp 305 data entry.

Although she has only been a veterinary technician a few years, she has a deep knowledge of veterinary medicine. She is self-motivated and deeply committed to her patients. Nicole is a dedicated team member and is always willing to work harder to help with a patient.

Life Members

Drs. Randy Beumer, Brown’s Valley, MN; Susan Jones, Rapid City, SD; James Pajl, Yankton, SD; James Rokusek, Watertown, SD; and Steve Tornberg, Harrisburg, SD attained life membership status in the SDVMA for their years of practice. Life members have attained the age of 65 and have been members of SDVMA for at least 20 years.

Bill Davis Award

Jim Feller, Blunt, received the Bill Davis award. This award is given annually to a sales representative of a veterinary supply company who has demonstrated an unusual degree of service and assistance to veterinarians and the veterinary profession in South Dakota.

Jim has been a staple in the veterinary medicine industry for decades. He graduated from SDSU in 1986 with a degree in animal science and began his career. He has been in his current position with MWI for 5 years. Prior to that time, he worked for Golden Sun Feeds as a territory manager, Pfizer Animal Health as a senior territory manager, Novartis Animal Health as a regional sales manager, Professional Veterinary Products Limited as a regional sales manager and Ivesco as a territory sales manager.

Jim’s reputation in the industry is excellent. He is known for going the extra mile to get product information, products and competitive pricing to his customers. He commonly rearranges his schedules to meet his client’s needs. Jim is a firm believer that in time, hard work can take you anywhere in life.

He has been married to Nancy for 26 years and together they have four kids: Tiera, Dakota, Reed, and Clay. When he isn’t working you can find Jim fishing, golfing, and hunting with his friends and family. Jim enjoys cooking, baking, and grilling.

Jim is past president of the Sully Buttes Booster Club. He served on the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Examiners Board and the Nation Resources Conservation District. He currently serves on the Board of Oahe Electric Cooperative.

Alliance Auction

The SDVMA Alliance raised over $8,000 in a benefit auction as part of the event. The money is used for scholarships for veterinary and veterinary technician students.

Board Members Elected

The following board members were elected for the coming year: Dr. Michelle Jensen, Harrisburg, president; Dr. Mark Braunschmidt, Brandon, president-elect; Dr. Ethan Andress, Hettinger, ND, vice president; Dr. Chanda Nilsson, Groton, secretary-treasurer; Dr. Angela Anderson, Sioux Falls, District 1 representative; Dr. Heidi Sorensen, Watertown, District 2 representative; Dr. Chris Chase, Brookings, AVMA delegate; and Dr. Cindy Franklin, Yankton, AVMA alternate delegate. Other board members are Dr. Sandra Wahlert, Hot Springs, District 3 representative; and Dr. Travis White, Sioux Center, IA, past president.

The 2018 SDVMA annual meeting will be held Aug. 12-15 in Sioux Falls.

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