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Source: Zoetis news release

The Academy of Veterinary Consultants (AVC) has named David Sjeklocha, DVM, the 2013 AVC Consultant of the Year. The award, sponsored by Zoetis, recognizes outstanding achievements in beef-cattle medicine. Dr. Sjeklocha is the 28th recipient of the AVC Consultant of the Year award.

"This award was created to recognize the tremendous leadership that exists in the veterinary profession and in the beef industry," said Mitch Blanding, DVM, MS, Zoetis associate director of beef technical services. "Zoetis is proud to sponsor the award to help highlight the critical role of veterinarians in our food system.

Recognizing leaders who are making a difference for producers and consumers aligns with our corporate Commitment to Veterinarians™ and our belief that veterinarians are the front line in terms of disease prevention and producing a safe food supply. Dr. Sjeklocha certainly represents what this award embodies and we're very pleased he has been recognized by his peers."

The AVC Consultant of the Year is awarded to an AVC member who is active in veterinary consulting or practice in the beef industry. Nominees must have made an impact in the beef industry and be active in professional organizations. AVC members nominate their peers for the award and the winner is selected by a committee of past recipients.

Dr. Sjeklocha is the staff veterinarian and operations manager of animal health and welfare for Cattle Empire, LLC, in Satanta, Kan. He manages the cattle-feeding organization's animal health and animal welfare programs; trains the cattle-handling crews on minimizing cattle stress; and ensures employees are certified in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and trained in animal welfare best practices.

Dr. Sjeklocha joined the company in 2011 after several years as a consulting veterinarian and private-practice veterinarian. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science and a DVM degree from Kansas State University.

Dr. Sjeklocha is a trusted resource on animal welfare, animal husbandry and the tie between beef-cattle production management and veterinary medicine for such organizations as National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), state cattle organizations and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). He has served AVC as president, AVMA liaison and chair of the beef cattle health and well-being committee.

Dr. Sjeklocha also is active in the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, for which he organizes and moderates the animal stewardship listserv, is current chair of the animal welfare committee, and has been a program moderator.

"Dr. Sjeklocha's work and leadership have been a guiding beacon for organizations like AVC, NCBA and AABP," Dr. Wells said. "And he is helping the entire industry understand the role of animal welfare, animal husbandry and veterinary medicine when it comes to producing the high-quality, safe beef that consumers expect from us. He is a tremendous ambassador for the industry."

As winner of the 2013 AVC Consultant of the Year, Dr. Sjeklocha received a plaque and an engraved belt buckle. In addition, Zoetis will donate $2,000 in Dr. Sjeklocha's name to the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine to assist two students who are pursuing a career in bovine veterinary medicine.

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