Dr. Dale Miskimins

Dr. Dale Miskimins of Elkton, was honored as the Veterinarian of the Year award at the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association annual meeting recently. 

South Dakota’s Veterinarian of the Year is one who spends his days serving other veterinarians.

Dr. Dale Miskimins, head of necropsy at the state’s Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory was honored with the award from the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association last month.

Fellow veterinaries appreciate his inquisitive nature and willingness to share what he knows.

“I have been in the laboratory with no other pathologist who has been as actively involved in seeking answers to complex problems,” one nominator said.

“Dr. Miskimins has been on the forefront of technological advancement in veterinary medicine and has been eager to share his knowledge with anyone who needs it,” noted another.

Miskimins’ willingness to go the extra mile for the clients he serves and for veterinary medicine make him a perfect example of what it means to be Veterinarian of the Year, SDVMA staff said in a news release.

Miskimins graduated from Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. After veterinary school, he worked in a large animal practice in central South Dakota. He returned to Iowa State University to complete a residency in diagnostic pathology in 1985. He returned to South Dakota in 1991 and heads the necropsy section at the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at SDSU, where he remains today.

Awards were presented at the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association annual meeting in Sioux Falls Aug. 11-14. The meeting included continuing education opportunities for over 200 veterinarians and veterinary technicians, recognized outstanding accomplishments by professionals in the veterinary fields and included the annual membership meeting.

A preconference seminar from the South Dakota State University Extension taught veterinarians how to communicate with farmers and ranchers under stress.

Companion animal topics included local and regional anesthesia techniques, behavioral issues, pharmacology, and dermatology. Large animal topics included equine anesthesia, secure food supply plans, beef cattle nutrition, and goat medicine, as well as case presentations from SDSU’s Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab. Along with the building project, Dr. Jane Hennings spoke on the 2+2 veterinary school program between SDSU and the University of Minnesota.

The Distinguished Service Award went to Dr. Steve Tornberg of Harrisburg, who is considered to be among the best in his area on equine issues. As one nominator noted, “His body of work with horses speaks for itself.”

In addition to his professional achievement in veterinary medicine, Tornberg served various roles on the veterinary association’s board, including president. He was named the 2013 Horseperson of the Year. He has served as an SDSU Extension associate on issues and has served as an expert witness in equine cases. Tornberg and his wife Kit, have been active in the vet association and help promote the organization and the profession.

Tornberg graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979. After completing his internship at Littleton Large Animal Clinic in Little, Colorado, he knew he wanted his own large animal practice where he could focus on horses. He returned home to South Dakota, and he has been doing just that since May 1981.

Tornberg’s practice focused on treating, breeding, and working with horses at the Dakota Large Animal Clinic. He officially retired from practice in the last two years and continues to enjoy fishing and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

The Emerging Leader award, for members who graduated from veterinary school in the last 10 years, went to Dr. April Schilder.

Schilder, part owner of the Prairie View Vet Clinic and occasional contributor to Tri-State Neighbor’s Vet Report, has poured her heart and soul into her clinic. She has taken on a role of veterinarian, administrator, HR person, and much more in the practice to make it successful.

Schilder recently took on work as the Fort Pierre Livestock Market Veterinarian. She has been a great addition to her community and our profession, SDVMA staff said.

Kim Hunt was named Outstanding Veterinary Technician. She graduated from National American University, Rapid City, in 1991 and worked in Nevada for several years before moving back to South Dakota. She joined Horizon Pet Care in 2010.

Hunt’s mission is to help people and animal. According to her colleagues, she is constantly stepping up to help, coming in on weekends and after hours to make sure the animals and owners have what they need. She has unlimited patience and equally unlimited energy. When Kim is not at work, she is a wife and an active mother of two children.

Life Members honored at the annual meeting were Drs. Kay Burkhart of Valley Springs, Ron Good of Parker, Craig Hansen of Howard, Tom Heirigs of Madison, Dale Miskimins of Elkton, Ken Schaffer of Lennox, and Michael Dickmann of George, Iowa. Life members have attained the age of 65 and have been members of SDVMA for at least 20 years.

The Bill Davis Award for sales representatives went to Mike Palmer of Animal Health International. His reputation in the industry is excellent. He is known for going the extra mile to get product information, products, and competitive pricing to his customers. He commonly rearranges his schedules to meet his clients’ needs and is always professional.

Palmer and his wife Christie have two boys, Jeremiah and Jacob. He enjoys shooting and fishing when he is not working to make our work easier, as veterinarians.

The association alliance raised more than $11,000 in a benefit auction as part of the event. The money is used for scholarships for veterinary and veterinary technician students.

The following board members were elected for the coming year: President Dr. Ethan Andress of Hettinger, North Dakota, Presdient Elect Dr. Chanda Nilsson of Groton, Vice President Dr. Carolyn Geis of Pierre, Secretary-Treasurer Matt Stork of Sioux Falls.

Other board members are Dr. Angela Anderson of Sioux Falls, District 1 representative; Dr. Heidi Sorensen of Watertown, District 2 representative; Dr. Sandra Wahlert of Hot Springs, District 3 representative; Dr. Chris Chase of Brookings, AVMA delegate; Dr. Cindy Franklin of Yankton, AVMA alternate delegate, and Dr. Mark Braunschmidt of Garretson, past president.

The 2020 SDVMA annual meeting will be held Aug. 16-19 in Rapid City.

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