Please see below the results of the 2016 Board Elections. Thank you to everyone who voted.
Darwin R. Yoder, MS, DVM
Since his retirement in 2011, Idaho native Dr. Darwin Yoder has remained active in veterinary medicine by consulting for the range sheep industry in the western United States. As consultant to the country’s largest organic sheep operation, he helps ensure delivery of humanely raised, healthy, and wholesome product to consumers.
After graduating from veterinary school, Dr. Yoder went into private practice in Shoshone, Idaho, for one year before establishing a mixed animal private practice in Wendell, Idaho, in 1976. He later accepted a position as a technical services veterinarian with Pfizer Animal Health in 1994. Dr. Yoder supervised numerous field trials during the introduction of multiple Pfizer pharmaceutical and biological veterinary products. In addition, he authored or co-authored peer-reviewed, published journal articles addressing the incidence of “Cysticercosis in Feedlot Beef Cattle” and was a member of the Pfizer group that pioneered promotion of preconditioning programs for beef calves prior to weaning.
In January 2001, Dr. Yoder assumed the directorship of the Veterinary Technology program at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas. He is a strong proponent of utilization of Veterinary Technicians in both small and large animal practice. After becoming a full tenured professor, Dr. Yoder remained in his position until January 2011, when a work-related injury forced his retirement. While at Sul Ross, he participated in the State of Texas’ oral rabies vaccine campaign to reduce the incidence of rabies in wildlife. He was specially deployed by the USDA in the summer of 2001 on its Veterinarian Task Force to assist in foot-and-mouth disease eradication in the United Kingdom, receiving an award for Meritorious Service.
A 1975 graduate of Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Yoder received his BS degree in animal science and a master’s degree in veterinary science from the University of Idaho. He is a member of the Idaho VMA, where he has held various offices, including president; a member of the AVMA, where he served as director on the Political Action Policy Board from 1991-1995; and a member of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants. He has also served on Colorado State University’s advisory committee for food animal medicine, the Sheep Advisory Board at the University of Idaho, and helped develop the Range Sheep Industry Handbook in cooperation with the USDA and the University of Nevada.
Dr. Gary Weddle lives in Henderson, Nevada, and is semiretired from private veterinary practice. He consults on shelter issues and exotic medicine, teaches remote capture techniques to local Animal Control agencies, manages euthanasia certification training for the Nevada State Board, and is a surgical examiner for the AVMA’s ECFVG program.
A Missouri native, he relocated to Las Vegas after graduation from veterinary school and was in small animal and exotic practice, becoming the owner of two clinics, until 1993. Dr. Weddle then practiced and consulted exclusively in exotics until 1999 and continued part-time until 2001. During this period, he was also an adjunct professor at the College of Southern Nevada where he taught Human Anatomy and Physiology and helped start and directed the Veterinary Technology Program for its first two years before transitioning into Shelter Medicine full-time.
In 1999, he began volunteering for the City of Henderson Animal Shelter, performing sterilizations and practicing shelter medicine. In 2001, the city established a “City Veterinarian” position and Dr. Weddle assumed the role, later becoming the Shelter Administrator in 2002 and retiring in 2011. He considers his years at the shelter to be the most spiritually rewarding portion of his veterinary career. During that time, focus was placed on reducing the euthanasia rate and improving overall conditions in the shelter environment. Along with institution of programs that slowed the influx of unwanted pets into the shelter, the euthanasia rate dropped from roughly 60% to just above 30%.
A lifelong member of the AVMA, Dr. Weddle is past president of the Nevada Veterinary Medical Association and a past member of the Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and the Nevada Wildlife Commission. Currently, he is a board member for Wild Wing (Wildlife Rehabilitation) Project and chair of the IACUC committee for the Oquendo Center.
Dr. Weddle received his BS degree in 1972 and DVM degree in 1978 from the University of Missouri. While in veterinary school, he and Dr. Greg Ivins started the Raptor Rehabilitation Program that is ongoing today. He also co-authored several papers on Raptor First Aid and was a contributing author to the first two editions of Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine (1979 and 1986). The Wildlife Society (Nevada Chapter) named Dr. Weddle its Conservationist of the Year in 1985.
Dr. Bill Wright has been the owner of Wright Veterinary Services in Elko, Nevada, since 1993. What began as a mixed animal clinic evolved into a strictly large animal mobile practice, with emphasis on food animal herd health. Dr. Wright is also the primary surgeon and consulting Veterinarian for the Elko Animal Shelter spay/neuter program. Since 2007, he has been an examiner in the Food Animal, Equine, and Anesthesia sections of the AVMA ECFVG Clinical Proficiency Exam administered monthly at the Oquendo Center and has personally tested more than 1,000 CPE candidates. He is adept at accommodating the cultural differences presented by the international candidates.
Dr. Wright’s practice consists of herd-health consulting; performing various reproductive procedures, including pregnancy, fertility, and venereal disease testing; diagnostic and epidemiologic procedures and consulting; and designing of herd vaccination protocols. He speaks fluent Spanish and conducts Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training for diversified ranch crews. Consulting on cattle handling-facility design is a particular passion. He has authored articles for a variety of ranching-related publications.
As consultant and primary surgeon for Elko Animal Shelter, Dr. Wright donates his leadership skills in the coordination of a nonprofit small animal spay/neuter surgical unit, including management training, procedure protocol development, quality control training, implementation of the animal identification program, and employee development procedures. He is a five-time recipient of the Citizens Distinguished Service Award in Elko.
A Nevada native, Dr. Wright was raised on a cattle ranch in northeastern Nevada’s “Buckaroo Country.” He received a BS degree in Animal Science in 1977 and a BS degree in Veterinary Science in 1979 from the University of Nevada-Reno and his DVM degree, cum laude, from Washington State University in 1982. He has been a member of the Western Veterinary Conference “family” since first attending in 1977 and met his wife, Vivian, during an Annual Conference. Dr. Wright has been moderating sessions at the Conference for several years.
Dr. Wright’s background as both a large and a small animal practitioner in both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds gives him a unique perspective on the development of the educational experience for the WVC attendee. He has proven leadership ability and is dedicated to keeping the Western Veterinary Conference at the pinnacle of veterinary CE by encouraging exploration of unlimited possibilities for growth.