Alumnus Recognized as Top in Field

group presentation of award
Dr. Sam Barringer (center) meets with Dr. Sarah Depenbrock and Zoetis representative Derek Schneider to donate his Zoetis award honorarium to the UC Davis Summer Livestock Externship Program.

Alumnus Recognized as Top in Field

Pays Award Forward to Help Future Livestock Veterinarians

Dr. Sam Barringer (DVM ’91) was named the 2023 Consultant of the Year by the Academy of Veterinary Consultants (AVC), a national organization of livestock practitioners who provide high quality continuing education on topics related to livestock health.

As a livestock veterinarian, Dr. Barringer’s areas of focus include calf health management, epidemiology, evidence-based population medicine, disease outbreak investigation, and vaccinology. Throughout his extensive career, he has held positions of leadership with Diamond V, Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis), Merck Animal Health, and in private practice. Dr. Barringer also served as an associate professor at West Virginia University.

Dr. Barringer is a highly decorated military veteran serving as a Colonel in the United States Air Force, with deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq as both an Army and Air Force officer. His military accomplishments include serving as the Command Surgeon and Chief of Staff for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Training Mission in Afghanistan and as a Team Leader assigned to a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in Iraq. Dr. Barringer also served as the Public Health Advisor to the Office of the Surgeon General, the Afghan National Army, and the Afghan Ministry of Public Health.

Being named the top beef consultant in the U.S. comes with an award honorarium presented by Zoetis. To help future livestock veterinarians reach their career goals, Dr. Barringer chose to donate the award money to the UC Davis Summer Livestock Externship Program, where first- and second-year DVM students explore four weeks of summer externships with livestock veterinarians to gain hands-on, career-shaping experience with livestock producers, veterinarians, and the communities in which they live and work.

"I had the honor of serving both the livestock world and the military sector," said Dr. Barringer. "While those career paths may seem very disparate, they are deeply synergistic. Food security is the most important component of national security. The choice to donate the Zoetis award to the UC Davis Summer Livestock Medicine Externship Program is in recognition that the future of food security is deeply dependent on the intellect and the innovation of a select few students at UC Davis. It is in honor of those students selecting food animal practice that this award was donated."

“It was an honor to have Dr. Barringer choose to donate this money to our student externship program, which is so valuable to our veterinary students,” said Dr. Sarah Depenbrock, assistant professor of clinical livestock medicine and surgery and director of the externship program. “The students were excited to interact with Dr. Barringer during his presentation on his career in livestock practice and what it means to be a veterinary consultant. Being able to expose students to the many diverse careers and different roles in society that livestock veterinarians can have is such an important part of their veterinary education.”

The AVC Consultant of the Year Award was first given in 1986. Criteria for the annual award includes: 
•    Recognition for merits within the past year
•    Accomplishments in the practice of bovine medicine
•    Quality and competency of veterinary service
•    Activities in organized veterinary medicine and the beef cattle industry
•    Relationships and contributions to the beef cattle industry
•    Related activities and achievements that have impacted the fed cattle industry

Established in 1970, AVC are a group of veterinarians involved with the beef cattle industry dedicated to serving the beef industry by pro-actively applying scientific information in formal interaction with other agencies and associations. They serve their constituents on issues of animal health, animal welfare, human health, food safety, and the environment. They strive to promote the interests, improve the public stature, and increase the knowledge of veterinarians in the field of beef herd health consultation.

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