Search for new state veterinarian under way

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) --  The Kentucky State Board of Agriculture has launched a national search for the position of Kentucky State Veterinarian following the retirement announcement of Dr. Robert Stout.


Prior to joining the KDA as the Homeland Security Coordinator in 2003, Dr. Stout had been an equine and large animal veterinarian since 1973. He was appointed Kentucky State Veterinarian by the SBA in February 2004.   


“I am incredibly grateful to Dr. Stout for serving as mentor and advisor to me during my time at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture,” said Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles. “Farmers and other agriculture-related representatives that make up the State Board of Agriculture have the authority to hire the State Veterinarian of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The State Board of Agriculture and the KDA look forward to casting a broad net to fill this critical animal health position.”


The State Veterinarian is the chief executive agent of the State Board of Agriculture and leads the Office of State Veterinarian in its statutory and regulatory activities to prevent, control and eradicate communicable diseases in the agricultural animal health sector.


Specific duties of the state veterinarian include:


--Represent the State Board of Agriculture as its chief executive agent


--Serve as the Executive Director of the Office of State Veterinarian


--Oversee all functions of the Office of State Veterinarian


--Ensure that statutes and regulations are enforced


--Participate on the commissioner of agriculture’s executive team


--Advise the commissioner on issues involving animal health and other issues as requested


--Testify to legislative committees as requested


--Serve as a liaison to livestock and poultry organizations and leaders


--Participate on the Board of Directors of the United States Animal Health Association, the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, Southern Animal Health Association and other animal health organizations.


The State Board of Agriculture requires that the successful candidate must have at least five years of experience in the practice of veterinary medicine and maintain current licensure with the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners, USDA-APHIS Category II Accreditation and a valid driver’s license. Preference may be given to candidates with regulatory experience in the management of animal health programs, epidemiology, emergency management/response, foreign animal disease investigations and animal welfare regulations.


A requirement that the state veterinarian be a resident of Kentucky was removed in legislation passed by the 2020 General Assembly.  


The search committee consists of two employees of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, four Kentucky State Board of Agriculture members and one representative each from the Kentucky Cattlemen Association, the Kentucky Pork Producers Association, the Kentucky Poultry Federation, the Kentucky Dairy Development Council, the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office, the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association and the state’s equine industry.


Applications will be accepted until September 9, or until the position is filled.  Dr. Stout intends to stay with the department until his successor is named. The proposed timeline for naming a replacement is the end of October.

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