In recognition of his commitment to the animal-health industry and for inspiring others in veterinary medicine, Ken Leslie, D.V.M., M.S., University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College professor, received the Mentor of the Year Award from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) and Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health. The Mentor of the Year Award honors individuals who have dedicated their careers to educating, mentoring and advancing the careers of students in the field of bovine veterinary medicine. Leslie was honored with a commemorative plaque during the AABP annual meeting Aug. 21 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He also received an all-expenses-paid trip to next year’s AABP conference in St. Louis, Missouri.
“Dr. Leslie has influenced generations of practitioners, graduate students and researchers,” said Dr. Stephen LeBlanc, Ontario Veterinary College associate professor, who has worked with Leslie for 15 years and presented the award. “His zeal for learning, creating opportunities and improving the lives of dairy veterinarians is legendary.”
Leslie has been a professor at the Ontario Veterinary College since 1977. Throughout his career, he has advised or contributed to the programs of more than 60 graduate students and has taught and mentored thousands of veterinary students. He contributed to creating one of the first departments of population medicine in a veterinary school and has collaborated with scores of researchers and educators at most institutions with dairy research programs in the U.S., Canada and five other countries.
Additionally, he co-authored “Herd Health – Food Animal Production Medicine,” the National Mastitis Council’s “10-Point Plan for Udder Health” and authored or co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific publications. His accomplishments have been recognized with major awards from the American Dairy Science Association, the Canadian Animal Health Institute and the AABP Award of Excellence in 1991.
“Dr. Leslie has the vision and mission to look into the future and generate data that will practically inform dairy veterinarians and producers,” LeBlanc said. “One of his greatest accomplishments is the creation of the Dairy Health Management Certificate Program.”
The comprehensive two-year program provides an intensive, science-based education to enable progressive dairy veterinarians to gain knowledge, skills and attitudes to enhance the health, profitability and sustainability of dairy farms. Leslie pioneered the concept in 1990 and, since then, more than 100 veterinarians have graduated from the program. The program has been emulated by several other universities.
Outside of his work at the University of Guelph, he has served on the executive committee of the World Buiatrics Association, as the Canadian representative to the International Dairy Federation-Committee of Mastitis Control and as an executive board member on the National Mastitis Council.
Leslie grew up on a small dairy farm in southern Ontario and received his D.V.M. and master’s degree from the University of Guelph. He was in private practice in the heart of the Ontario dairy industry for three years before returning to academia.
Leslie is the fourth recipient of the Mentor of the Year award, which was instituted in 2007. Previous winners include Dan Upson, D.V.M., Manhattan, Kansas; Bruce Hull, D.V.M., Westerville, Ohio; and Otto Radostits, D.V.M., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
—From Intervet news release
Dr. Ken Leslie, left, AABP Mentor of the Year Award winner, is congratulated by Dr. Scott Nordstrom, director of technical services for Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, award sponsor. Photo courtesy of Intervet.