UK's Craig Carter named Kentucky Veterinarian of the Year

Each year the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association (KVMA) names one Kentucky Veterinarian of the Year. The award recognizes a practitioner who has made outstanding contributions either outside or within the veterinary profession, or both, and who is held in high esteem by his or her peers. This year's recipient is Craig Carter, DVM, PhD, director of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center and professor of epidemiology.

Veterinarian Wade Northington, DVM, MPA, director of the Breathitt Veterinary Center in Hopkinsville, Ky., chaired the committee that chose Carter for the distinction. He said Carter is an individual who has contributed to the betterment of society and the veterinary profession above and beyond his normal activities. He added that Carter's award is one that highlights a lifetime of achievements.

"In being selected KVMA Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Carter is recognized for his recent retirement from 42 years of military service," Northington wrote. "In a retirement ceremony March 22, 2009, at the Army Reserve Medical Command in Pinellas Park, Fla., Dr. Carter was awarded the Legion of Merit and Joint Service Commendation Medal."

Carter received the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious service in positions of increasing responsibility, culminating in a 30-year career as veterinary readiness advisor for the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Command. Carter received the Joint Service Commendation Medal for exceptionally meritorious service as senior veterinarian in Task Force Ramadi, Iraq, from March through August 2008. Carter received the Bronze Star in 2002 for commanding the first veterinary unit to be deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11.

Carter joined the UK faculty in 2005 as a professor of epidemiology before being named director in 2007 after the retirement of Lenn Harrison, VMD, who was awarded the Kentucky Veterinarian of the Year honor in 2007. Since arriving at UK, Carter has conducted research on Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals and electronic health monitoring of cattle. He also has developed epidemiological software systems for the early identification of animal disease outbreaks in Kentucky.

"What a distinct honor, humbling beyond belief," Carter said. "The Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association is such an outstanding organization with so many great people that do endless volunteer work to assure a vibrant veterinary profession and healthy animals, large and small, for the commonwealth. I am so proud to be a member of this compassionate and productive group of veterinarians, technicians, and workers, including the likes of Louise Cook, the energetic and dedicated KVMA executive director. Many thanks go out to the nominating committee and the many folks who supported me."

Carter, an Indiana native, received his master's, doctorate of veterinary medicine, and doctorate in veterinary public health degrees from Texas A&M University. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and a distinguished scholar of the National Academies of Practice. Carter served at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and in the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory System from 1981 to 2004.

Carter has been notably engaged internationally as a consultant to the Department of Defense, USDA, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. He's recently traveled to Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, China, Thailand, Australia, Uruguay, Nicaragua, and Ethiopia, where he delivered lectures and participated in nation-building activities. Most recently, Carter participated in the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service mission to Afghanistan Aug. 6 - Sept. 3 to advise the Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture on operations and strategic planning for veterinary diagnostic laboratories and animal disease surveillance. Carter was inducted as president-elect of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians at their annual meeting, which was held in San Diego in October.

Aimee Nielson is an agriculture communications specialist at UK.


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