Dr. Nathan Erickson is the recipient of the 2024 Veterinarian of the Year Award from the Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners (WCABP) and Boehringer Ingelheim Canada. Supplied photo
Dr. Nathan Erickson is the recipient of the 2024 Veterinarian of the Year Award from the Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners (WCABP) and Boehringer Ingelheim Canada. Supplied photo

USask veterinarian earns top award for bovine work in Western Canada

Dr. Nathan Erickson (DVM) of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) has received the 2024 Veterinarian of the Year Award from the Western Canadian Association of Bovine Practitioners (WCABP) and Boehringer Ingelheim Canada.

Erickson, who graduated from the WCVM in 2005, is an associate professor in the college’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences. As an experienced cattle owner and beef cattle consultant, Erickson has a deep passion and understanding of the bovine industry.

The award spotlights Erickson’s dedication to the veterinary profession through his research, clinical and teaching work in beef cattle production health. In addition to his faculty position, Erickson is working on a PhD degree program at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) under the supervision of Dr. John Ellis in the WCVM’s Department of Veterinary Microbiology.

Erickson accepted the honour at the WCABP’s annual general meeting in Calgary, Alta., on Jan. 18. The award, which is given in partnership by WCABP and Boehringer Ingelheim Canada, recognizes a veterinarian who advances bovine health in practice and leadership — specifically in Western Canada.

“The WCABP is an amazing organization of bovine veterinarians, many of whom I count as mentors and friends. Without these relationships, the work that we do as researchers and educators could not be done,” said Erickson.

“Even small interactions and short conversations can lead to important opportunities. I truly appreciate the advice, guidance, and input that I have received from so many great people.”

Erickson’s research involves the use of product and management techniques to maximize sustainable herd production, such as controlling bovine respiratory disease in calves through developing immunization protocols and implant strategies, nutritional management for reproductive efficiency and heifer development for longevity.

Dr. Klea-Ann Wasilow (DVM) is president of the WCABP, an organization that represents veterinarians who provide animal health care services for beef and dairy cattle in Western Canada.

“His easy-going, approachable nature allows many to learn from him not only in an academic setting but out in the field and simply through casual conversation,” said Wasilow, who graduated from the WCVM in 2001.

“His impact is impressive.”

Wasilow added that Erickson’s roles as a cattle producer, clinician, consulting veterinarian and researcher have earned great respect in the bovine veterinary community.

Derek Groff, business unit director of livestock with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Canada, said the award recognizes Erickson’s leadership in finding solutions to major concerns for producers in the industry.

“His extensive research into optimizing calf immunity serves to improve bovine health and welfare and addresses a high-priority topic for the cattle industry.”

In addition to thanking his family for their support, Erickson acknowledged Dr. Mike Jelinski (DVM), a 1986 graduate of the WCVM and a partner veterinarian at Veterinary Agri-Health Services in Airdrie, Alta. Jelinski nominated Erickson for the award.

Erickson is a board member of the Canadian Association of Bovine Veterinarians (CABV) and previously sat on the WCABP board. He frequently speaks at conferences and seminars in bovine and veterinary industries.

Click here to read more about Erickson’s recent research work.