Dr. Mary Battrell was named 2018 Swine Practitioner of the Year at the annual meeting of the American Association of Swine Practitioners, held earlier this month in San Diego, Cal.
“The award is given to the swine practitioner who has demonstrated an unusual degree of proficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of veterinary service to clients,” said AASV in a news release.
Battrell was born and raised on a family farm in Albany, OH. Her family farmed 250 – 600 acres of cropland, had a cow-calf operation, raised 250 feeder steers each year and had a 100-head farrow-to-finish swine operation. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from The Ohio State University followed by a Master’s degree in Animal Science with a focus in ruminant nutrition from the University of Tennessee. Upon graduation, she moved to Iowa and worked as a sales representative for the Upjohn Company.
Battrell earned her DVM and a master’s degree in swine production medicine from Iowa State University in 1995. She began her veterinary career in North Carolina working for Dr. Fred Cunningham. A year later, she accepted a position with Brown’s of Carolina in Kenansville, N.C., where she worked for three years.
Following her time at Brown’s, she was employed as a technical services veterinarian for Pharmacia before returning to Smithfield Hog Production at the Murphy Family Farms Rose Hill office in 2000. She is currently the staff veterinarian for Smithfield Hog Production’s East Central Region and is responsible for the health and well-being of 140,000 sows farrow-to-finish. She has been actively involved in the development of the Smithfield Animal Care Program and serves as chair for that committee.
“Swine practitioners do an excellent job of caring for their animals and providing a safe and wholesome product for the consumer,” Battrell said, after receiving the award. “It is incredibly humbling to be selected among them for this award. God has blessed me with a loving family, outstanding mentors, and co-workers that have guided me throughout my career. I am grateful for my Smithfield team, our care givers, and contract growers that work hard every day to put the pigs’ needs first. I am proud to be a part of this industry. Thank you for the opportunities and for this recognition.”
Battrell and her husband, Wayne Banks, reside in Garland, N.C., with their son, Don Banks.