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OVC Dairy Researcher Recognized With Award Of Excellence


December 06, 2021

A dairy researcher with the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) has been recognized for his exceptional contribution to the practice of bovine veterinary medicine in Ontario.

The Ontario Association of Bovine Practitioners (OABP) recently presented their 2021 Award of Excellence to Dr. Todd Duffield, professor and chair of OVC’s Department of Population Medicine.

Duffield’s research program has focused on metabolic diseases of dairy cows, control of pain in cows and calves, and most recently on tackling the welfare issues related to cull dairy cows.  He co-leads the University of Guelph’s Saputo Dairy Care Program and has a longstanding focus on the health and welfare of dairy cattle.

He has more than 200 refereed publications to his credit, including more than 100 in the Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), an achievement that earned him membership in the exclusive JDS 100 Club. 

The 1990 OVC DVM graduate spent four years in practice in Stirling, Ontario prior to returning to OVC to complete his DVSc degree in 1997 and join the College faculty.

Recognized for his many contributions to the advancement in animal welfare, colleagues noted Duffield’s passion for veterinary medicine and his ability to communicate his knowledge with equal ease to students, veterinarians, and to farmers.

Dr. Ken Leslie, Professor Emeritus, Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, wrote in a letter of support for the nomination, “There are very few individuals, in Canada or beyond, who have had such a profound and lasting impact on the health, performance, and general well-being of dairy cattle.”

OVC professor and Department of Population Medicine colleague Dr. Kerry Lissemore added, “Todd is well known for his research, and his publications have brought him international recognition. He is also widely sought after to present his research findings at conferences around the world and is routinely on the slate of speakers for local producer and veterinary meetings.”

Drs. Stephen LeBlanc, Charlotte Winder and Dave Renaud, also in OVC’s Department of Population Medicine, noted his skill as a mentor, modelling curiosity, creativity and a focus on practical application for veterinarians and the benefit to farm animals. “Before he launched his ongoing research on ketosis, both veterinarians and farmers saw only the tip of the iceberg of a metabolic state that affects 40 per cent of dairy cows. Most OABP members involved in dairy practice have clients using ketosis monitoring and treatment programs that are a direct result of Todd’s research and continuing education work over the last 20 years.”

OVC alumni Dr. Robert Tremblay noted in a letter of support, “Todd has an international reputation for his contributions to veterinary medicine in general but most specifically in the fields of metabolic diseases and of pain and pain management. He has exceptional skills at communicating his knowledge with equal ease to students, veterinarians, and to farmers.” Dr. Ray Reynen, also an OVC alumnus, added that Duffield, commonly known as “Dr. Ketosis,” has shown the significance of this disease and more importantly found practical solutions to this disease.”

“I am truly honoured to receive this prestigious award,” said Duffield.  “I am extremely grateful for the many years of mentorship, friendship, and collaborations from faculty and industry colleagues, outstanding graduate students and enthusiastic producers who have all contributed to the body of work that is recognized through this award.  I feel extremely fortunate to work with such an amazing network of individuals.”

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