Dr. John Campbell. Photo: Caitlin Taylor.

WCVM researcher receives beef industry award

Dr. John Campbell, a leader in beef animal health and welfare, has been awarded the 2019 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation. Campbell was honoured on August 14 during the 2019 Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary, Alta.

From left to right: BCRC science director Reynold Bergen; BCRC executive director Andrea Brocklebank; award recipient Dr. John Campbell; Ryan Beierbach, BCRC chair; Steve Hendrick, co-presenter and veterinarian at Coaldale Veterinary Clinic. Supplied photo.

Campbell is a professor and researcher in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine's (WCVM) Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. His work focuses on clinical research in beef cattle health management and the epidemiology of infectious diseases. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1985 and his Doctor of Veterinary Science in 1991 from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph.

The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) annually presents the Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation on behalf of Canada’s beef industry stakeholders. The award recognizes scientists and academics who are actively involved in strong research programs aligned with industry priorities, continually engage with industry stakeholders, and demonstrate their passion and long-term commitment through leadership, teamwork and mentorship. 

Campbell has assisted producers, researchers, veterinarians and policy makers across Canada with his numerous research projects on infectious diseases, such as respiratory disease and trichomoniasis, and industry-relevant issues, such as antimicrobial resistance and animal welfare. As head of the WCVM's Disease Investigation Unit, he has led an effort to keep local veterinarians, provincial officials and beef producers updated with the information they need to keep their cattle healthy.

Campbell was responsible for establishing the Western Canadian Cow-Calf Surveillance Network and subsequently the national Canadian Cow-Calf Surveillance Network. Through this network, Campbell and his colleagues have been able to examine a variety of topics which help scientists from across Canada manage future research projects, identify emerging problems and evolving practices, and support beef producers as they manage production decisions in their herds.

“Dr. John Campbell embodies the spirit of co-operation and communication between academia and the cattle industry,” said Ryan Beierbach, chair of the BCRC and a beef cattle producer near Whitewood, Sask.

“He maintains impactful and relevant research by staying actively engaged with cattle producers and is not afraid to get his hands dirty as he digs into the details to solve complex herd health and nutrition problems.”

Over the course of his career, Campbell has served on numerous beef industry committees such as the National Beef Research Strategy, Western Beef Development Centre Strategic Advisory Committee, Antimicrobial Stewardship in Canadian Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Conference Organizing Committee, and International Symposium of Beef Cattle Welfare Organizing Committee. He was also a member of both the scientific and technical committees that worked to develop the National Farmed Animal Care Council's Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle — a document that is now a best-practices manual for Canadian cattle producers.

“There are few veterinarians practising in Canada who have not been impacted by Dr. Campbell,” added Matt Bowman, vice-chair of the BCRC and a beef cattle producer from Thornloe, Ont.

“John’s teaching, research, communication style, willingness to help and his personable approach have contributed greatly to veterinary medicine, as well as the competitiveness and sustainability of the Canadian beef industry.”

As a researcher, teacher and veterinarian, Campbell has more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, has trained over 50 graduate students and has influenced innumerable veterinary students. He is frequently called upon to present at conferences and regional producer meetings, as well as to contribute to columns in agricultural publications. Campbell’s commitment to beef producers and bovine health is extremely evident in his efforts to provide information and advance best practices within the industry.

Source: BCRC news release. Visit the BCRC website for more information

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