Annette Hacker, manager,
Office: (515) 294-4777
John Thomson, College of Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-1250
Tracy Raef, College of Veterinary Medicine Communications, (515) 294-4602
Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778
Iowa State's College of Veterinary Medicine celebrates 125th anniversary
AMES, Iowa --This year marks the 125th anniversary of Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, the nation's oldest public veterinary college and the first veterinary college west of the Mississippi.
When the college was founded in 1879, hog cholera was among the most prevalent and devastating diseases threatening the fledgling livestock industry. The best minds in veterinary medicine believed the disease was caused by bacteria. However, vaccine development and testing carried out in 1905 by veterinarians from Iowa State and the new U.S. Department of Agriculture Hog Cholera Research Station in Ames helped establish that the disease was viral. Their live-virus hyperimmune vaccine made historic advances in the control of the disease.
A founding premise of the college was to provide a scientific method and organization to the control of animal diseases, helping to ensure the success of the food animal industry, said Dr. John Thomson, the college's 14th dean.
"The visionaries who established the college recognized the importance of veterinary medicine to the livestock industry and to the safety of the food supply," Thomson said.
The college continues to play a leadership role in livestock disease eradication. Last fall, the Iowa Pork Producers Association honored ISU's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) and others for cooperative efforts in eradicating pseudorabies, a highly contagious swine disease. In 2000, the VDL processed more than 850,000 pseudorabies serology tests as part of the state's eradication program.
"The college has a rich history of research contributions to the understanding and control of infectious diseases of production animals," Thomson said. "In fact, no other college of veterinary medicine in the U. S. has studied swine infectious diseases more extensively than ISU."
Some highlights from the College of Veterinary Medicine's contributions to production animal medicine are presented below.
The college has designated April 30 as Celebration Day to commemorate the 125th anniversary with a gala banquet.
ISU veterinary medicine faculty X-ray a foal in a campus lab in 1961.
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"The visionaries who established the college recognized the importance of veterinary medicine to the livestock industry and to the safety of the food supply."
John Thomson, dean of veterinary medicine