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Karriker awarded CVM Alumnus of the Year
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Dr. Locke Karriker was presented the College of Veterinary Medicine’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year Award at Mississippi State University.
Karriker, who currently serves as the director of the Swine Medicine Education Center at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, grew up in North Carolina’s coastal area and cultivated an interest in agriculture at an early age.
“I grew up on a small, diversified farm in an area with limited access to food animal veterinary services,” Karriker said. “As a consequence, we occasionally found ourselves in the position of having to research solutions and treatments to problems, and I enjoyed learning about those topics.”
He said staying on top of current issues and problem-solving are the most enjoyable parts of his career.
“Swine medicine presents problems that span the entire range of difficulty from simple cases in individuals to complex, multifactorial problems in population levels,” he said. “I like working with teams and having a direct impact on human health by making the food supply safer and more affordable.”
Karriker spends most of his time teaching swine medicine classes at ISU, but he also conducts research and outreach activities. He consults with producers, presents to colleagues and conducts investigations, taking him throughout the United States and around the world.
His decision 17 years ago to attend MSU was a critical step, he said.
“At the time I attended MSU, it was at the height of implementing a problem-based learning curriculum, which I knew fit my learning style better than a lecture or lab-based curriculum,” he said. “It was, and still is, very appealing to me to dive into a new problem and figure it out along the way. The instruction I received at MSU has greatly contributed to my ability to attack and solve problems effectively.”
Karriker’s education has benefited the swine industry in the United States and abroad.
“Through his research and work, Dr. Karriker is having a very positive impact on the swine industry and helping to secure a safe food supply both nationally and worldwide,” said MSU CVM Dean Dr. Kent Hoblet.
His colleagues respect his dedication to the field of swine medicine.
“Locke is tuned in to his students and works hard to introduce them to cutting-edge science and technology,” said Dr. Rick Tubbs, who has served on committees of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians with Karriker. “He is not satisfied with what has been taught in the past. He wants them to learn more than the common swine diseases, which is important. However, he has also really tried to apply evidence-based medicine to swine medicine.”
Karriker said MSU fostered his commitment to service.
“Besides veterinary medicine, MSU taught me to invest in, value and be of service to other people,” he said. “I sincerely appreciate this recognition and hope to continue building a career that makes MSU and the College of Veterinary Medicine proud.”
Karriker began his career at Seaboard Farms in Guymon, Okla., where he provided primary veterinary care to an 185,000-head sow herd. While there, he developed an on-farm food safety program and developed and implemented a biosecurity program.
Karriker serves as chair of the Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine department’s Curriculum Committee and co-chair of the ISU-CVM Veterinary Medicine Curriculum Committee. He participates in search committees and subcommittees, co-edited the 10th edition of “Diseases and Swine” and collaborates with the Iowa Pork Industry Center.