Veterinarian standing before cattle herd
WCVM professor and researcher Dr. John Campbell is the 2023 recipient of the CVMA Merck Veterinary Award. Photo: Caitlin Taylor.

USask veterinarian honoured for dedication to beef cattle care

University of Saskatchewan (USask) professor and researcher Dr. John Campbell is the 2023 recipient of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) Merck Veterinary Award.

Campbell, who accepted his award during the CVMA's annual convention in Quebec City, Que., was recognized for his decades of cattle work that has significantly contributed to the overall improvement of the bovine industry — especially in the areas of beef cattle production medicine and disease surveillance.

Sponsored by Merck Animal Health, this annual award recognizes a veterinarian whose work in food animal production practice, clinical research or basic sciences has contributed to the advancement of food animal medicine and surgery — including herd health management.

“It is no exaggeration to say that there are few individuals in Canada who have had the level of impact on beef cattle medicine, health management and clinical education as Dr. Campbell. He is a humble and extremely knowledgeable colleague, who balances practicality with a deep understanding of research in a uniquely effective way to truly improve cattle health, veterinary practice and clinical research,” says Dr. Claire Windeyer, an associate professor at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM).

Campbell graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph in 1985. After several years of rural veterinary practice, he returned to Guelph to complete a Doctor of Veterinary Science degree in ruminant health management. He joined the WCVM faculty in 1991 and has been part of the college's Ruminant Field Service for more than three decades.

“Dr. Campbell’s success in obtaining producer funding through the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is a testament to the industry and producer-relevance of his research and extension program. Over the past 25 years, the BCRC has funded 20 research and extension projects that Dr. Campbell has led or collaborated in. These activities have spanned virtually all aspects of cow-calf and feedlot health, animal welfare, antimicrobial use and resistance, nutrition and disease surveillance,” says Reynold Bergen, BCRC science director. 

Campbell served as head of the WCVM's Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences from 2011 to 2017. His primary research interests include beef cattle production medicine and disease surveillance in beef cattle.

He's the director for the WCVM Disease Investigation Unit and is an associate editor for the scientific journal, Veterinary Evidence. Campbell has over 100 scientific publications in scientific journals along with numerous conference proceedings.

Campbell has received five WCVM teaching awards and was the 2007 recipient of the Carl Block Award for contributions to Canada’s animal health programs. He also received the 2008 Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners' Veterinarian of the Year Award and the 2019 Canadian Beef Industry Award for Outstanding Research and Innovation.

“If you asked veterinarians across Western Canada which person best fits this [award's] description, I would suspect many, if not the majority, would name Dr. John Campbell,” says Dr. Trent Wennekamp, one of Campbell's former students. 

Click here to read news story about other WCVM award recipients

Share this story