Smith receives national award from AABP


David Smith

A Mississippi State epidemiologist is this year’s selection for the American Association of Bovine Practitioners’ Award of Excellence.

At the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. David Smith holds the Mikell and Mary Cheek Hall Davis Endowed Professorship. He also leads the college’s beef program.

With offices in Opelika, Alabama, the AABP is an international association representing veterinarians serving society as leaders in cattle health, welfare and productivity.

Presented recently, the AABP award recognized Smith’s contributions to bovine practitioners throughout the country. Also cited were his research and publications, as well as leadership activities with regulatory and legislative bodies to help enhance bovine medicine delivery.

Smith is a board-certified veterinary epidemiologist who came to MSU in 2012 from the University of Nebraska. He has more than 30 years of experience in cattle production systems.

Smith’s research regularly assists in some way or another owners Mississippi’s 17,000 beef cattle farms, said Dr. Kent Hoblet, MSU veterinary dean.

“Dr. Smith’s dedication to learning, community and research is exactly what Dr. Mikell Davis had in mind when he and his wife, Mary Cheek Davis, endowed the professorship,” Hoblet observed. “Because of their commitment, we have Dr. Smith here at our college,” which he called “a benefit to our students and also our state’s livestock producers.”

Davis was an MSU veterinary college faculty member for nearly 30 years and Smith is the first to hold the professorship named for the couple.

Smith received bachelor’s, veterinary medical and doctor of philosophy degrees from The Ohio State University. He worked in private practice for nine years before beginning a career in academia.

His current research and extension activities focus on the applications of antibiotics to help manage cattle populations, specifically the control of pathogen transmissions.

His studies in the applications of field epidemiology seek to discover how beef cattle production systems may be modified to improve the animals’ health, well-being and productivity while also benefiting human and environmental health.

“Dr. Smith is an excellent choice for this award and it truly is an honor to have him here at our college,” Hoblet added.

He also praised Smith’s skills as “a great communicator” who “engages others in important research that ultimately improves U.S. herd health and viability.”

In addition to time spent with beef producers, Smith devotes considerable time training MSU veterinary students in the professional skills needed to serve a rural clientele and keep small-business operations thriving

“Our students are getting unparalleled experiences with Dr. Smith,” Hoblet said. “Working so close with this industry gives students more than just insight on raising healthy cattle; he helps them really understand the importance of being a part of a community and doing their part to share resources in rural areas.”

Beyond campus, Smith serves as an adviser to regional and national organizations, including the U.S. Agriculture Department Secretary’s Committee on Animal Health.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Karen Templeton | College of Veterinary Medicine

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