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South Dakota's new state veterinarian returning home after serving Minnesota

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Beth Thompson

Beth Thompson

Dr. Beth Thompson is returning to her home state.

Minnesota’s state veterinarian and executive director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health is stepping down from her role May 8 to become the state veterinarian in her home state of South Dakota. She replaces Dr. Dustin Oedekoven who took a job as chief veterinarian with the National Pork Board in February.

“When the state veterinarian position opened up in my home state earlier this year, I decided to apply and see where things went,” Dr. Beth Thompson said in a news release April 13. “I was offered the position earlier this month and accepted this opportunity to be closer to family and friends. Although I’m departing amidst the HPAI (bird flu) outbreak, our response is strong, and I leave this agency in very capable hands.”

Dr. Thompson, originally from Groton, is proud of her agricultural background, according to her biography on the board of animal health website. Her brother and nephew are the fourth and fifth generation on the family farm.

Thompson earned her DVM and swine medicine certification from the University of Minnesota Veterinary School in 2007. After graduation, she spent over a year as a swine production system veterinarian for a Minnesota based company. She also has a JD from the William Mitchell College of Law in 1992.

She joined the Minnesota Board of Animal Health as a senior veterinarian in July 2008 and focused on focused on tuberculosis eradication in northwestern Minnesota and worked in the swine, equine and carcass disposal programs. Thompson became Minnesota’s first female state veterinarian when she succeeded Dr. Bill Hartmann in 2016. She is only the eighth person to serve as state veterinarian in the board’s 119-year history.

Minnesota's current assistant director, Dr. Linda Glaser will begin serving as interim state veterinarian May 9 while the board of animal health selects the state's next top vet. The board will announce an application period for the position in the coming weeks.

“Dr. Thompson was uniquely qualified for this position and her professionalism, experience and educational background will be greatly missed,” Animal Health Board president Dean Compart said. “Fortunately, she’ll continue to be involved in animal health in her new position. We are confident Dr. Glaser will continue carrying out the board’s mission in the interim.”

Thompson serves as treasurer of the U.S. Animal Health Association, vice chairwoman of the National Association of State Animal Health Offices, and is on the American Veterinary Medical Association Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee and the National Animal Health Laboratory Coordinating Committee.

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