Hello, I’m Dr. Jack Shere, the Eastern Regional Director for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services program.
As a kid, we had a German Shepherd mix puppy. My dad brought her home from a shelter and we took her to the veterinarian for shots. After a time, she got sick, displaying a series of symptoms that turned out to be distemper. She’d contracted it when she was too young for the puppy shots. The symptoms got worse until one Friday when she had a seizure in the kitchen. We called the vet to ask about bringing her in to be humanely put to sleep and the vet said he would. Watching this puppy die was heartbreaking for my entire family. I decided then to become a vet and to never turn down emergency calls so no one had to go through what my family did with this puppy. I’ve kept that vow in years since I graduated vet school. Read more »
Hello, I’m Dr. Larry Ludemann and I’m a Senior Staff Veterinarian for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB). It’s our job to make sure veterinary biologics, including vaccines, are safe, pure, potent and effective.
My duties include reviewing and licensing veterinary vaccines. Manufacturers looking for approval on a vaccine are required to submit supporting data and reports about the vaccine for analysis. I am responsible for writing a response to this submitted information. Before taking my current position, I also spent 13 years in the CVB testing lab. Read more »
Hello, I’m Dr. Suelee Robbe Austerman. I work at USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.
Agriculture has always been my first love. I grew up on a ranch, but like many girls of my generation, there were limited opportunities to become part of the operation. During college, I fell in love with veterinary medicine – as I could combine my interests in agriculture and science. I spent my first six years out of vet school in large animal practice in South Dakota. Then, I taught food supply veterinary medicine at Iowa State while working on my Masters and PhD. While working on my PhD, I joined USDA’s Agriculture Research Service working on Johne’s disease. Read more »
Hello, I’m Dr. Bill Huls, Facilities Manager with USDA APHIS’s Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB). I have been with APHIS since 2002. The CVB regulates the industry that manufacturers veterinary biological products including animal vaccines and diagnostic test kits. I communicate with firms on a daily basis to help ensure they are maintaining compliance with federal regulations. This includes managing documents and items that relate to those firms – things like policies and procedures used by the manufacturer to prepare their products, procedures for who enters and exits the facility, the organization and arrangement of the facilities they make their product in, etc. I also conduct inspections of facilities that manufacture biological products. The work performed by the CVB helps ensure both animal and human health is safeguarded.
I decided to become a veterinarian when I was 18 after spending time with a veterinary practitioner in my hometown. Following completion of veterinary school I joined a small animal practice. Eventually, I bought my own practice. My practice years allowed me to have some pretty cool and challenging experiences. Read more »
Hello, I’m Dr. Barry Pittman, an Area Emergency Coordinator for Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). I cover the states of Kansas and Missouri, where I do liaison work with local, state and other federal representatives to help ensure we’re prepared to respond when disasters or outbreaks strike. Some areas of my expertise are: developing animal response plans, providing training, building a veterinary reserve corps to response to disasters (like the Joplin, MO tornado), conducting vulnerability assessments, participating in exercises, and responding to incidents.
Becoming a veterinarian was something I decided I wanted to do at age twelve. I loved our pediatrician (he made house calls) and at first I wanted to be a doctor… but the vet in town was much more laid back. After time in the Air Force and Army, I went to vet school to fulfill my dream. Read more »
Hello, I’m Dr. Beth Lautner, Director of USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. We’re the animal health reference and confirmatory lab for USDA. We work mainly with livestock and poultry health, but also deal more and more with companion animal issues. It is exciting to be on the front lines of what’s going on with regards to animal health.
I grew up on a livestock farm and had many dogs and cats. I always enjoyed working and interacting with animals and admired the veterinarians I met. From the time I was twelve, I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. After vet school, I practiced for 12 years in a mixed animal (livestock and dogs/cats) practice. It was a great opportunity to learn a lot of different aspects of veterinary medicine. Read more »