October 14, 2010

State Veterinarian Taylor Woods Receives National Recognition

Missouri's state veterinarian Dr. Taylor Woods has been awarded the 2010 James A. Graham Award for Outstanding Service to Agriculture by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. This prestigious national honor recognizes the contributions of one individual for service to agriculture.

For over 30 years, Dr. Woods has led efforts to protect Missouri's livestock from disease. His expertise has helped the state gain notoriety throughout the world as a producer of quality livestock. In honor of this accomplishment and his commitment to the agriculture industry, the Missouri Department of Agriculture hosted a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on Thurs., Oct. 14, in the Department's third floor board room.

"It is rare that you can point to a single person and say that man is responsible for $4 billion worth of business in the state of Missouri, but with Dr. Taylor Woods, it's certainly true," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "This is a tremendous and well deserved accomplishment for Taylor. His outstanding contributions to Missouri's livestock industry have earned him utmost respect and recognition far beyond the borders of Missouri."

Dr. Woods embraces both his roles as Missouri's State Veterinarian and Director of the Department of Agriculture's Animal Health Division. With nearly 100,000 animals moving into and out of the state each week, it is critical that Missouri's livestock remains disease free. Dr. Woods continues to guide his staff to constantly monitor the interstate and intrastate movement of livestock for disease outbreaks and risks as they venture through Missouri's network of over 70 livestock markets.

Taylor Woods has been the state's top veterinarian twice, with a total tenure of nearly 20 years leading the Animal Health Division. During these two tenures as State Veterinarian, Dr. Woods has competently and professionally led Missouri to the forefront of the U.S. agricultural industry. With a career in large animal veterinary medicine and animal health regulation spanning a half century, Dr. Woods brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his position. He has spent his entire career developing procedures and policies to indentify and combat tuberculosis, pseudorabies, avian influenza and dozens of other diseases that could threaten the viability of Missouri's livestock industry. Dr. Woods led the charge in eliminating the last positive Brucellosis herds in the state and Missouri was granted a bovine brucellosis free status in May 2004. He has been instrumental in obtaining a pseudorabies-free status in both Missouri and Arkansas. Dr. Woods also developed the Equine Infection Anemia programs in Missouri and Arkansas, which has been instrumental in the reduction of positive equines and still a valuable asset to the eradication of the disease.

For more information regarding the Department of Agriculture's animal programs, visit mda.mo.gov.