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Minnesota swine veterinarian to receive science award

Matt Allerson of Holden Farms in Northfield, Minnesota will receive the 2024 Science in Practice award at the Leman Swine Conference in September, according to a recent press release. The annual award recognizes swine practitioners who use science to solve critical health and production problems for pork producers.

As a veterinarian at Holden Farms, Allerson leads a talented team of veterinarians for one of the nation’s largest family-owned swine production systems. He is internationally renowned for his expertise in disease control, health, and production. Allerson’s skills as a teacher, mentor and leader also are well-respected.

“I am fortunate to work for a company that supports field research and understand the value research brings to a company,” he said. “Together, we can answer questions that are specific to Holden Farms’ system and pig health.” 

His team uses multiple tools to discover solutions, including health improvement plans, biosecurity principles, and disease elimination plans that have been backed by both experimental and field-based research.

Allerson said use of scientific principles are critically important. 

“You have to identify and remove outside or confounding variables that may impact your results," he said. "A small difference in performance can have huge economic consequences."

His passion for science, working with livestock, and summarizing data led him to a career and several advanced degrees in veterinary medicine. 

“These experiences have helped me remove feelings and opinions when trying to answer animal health and performance related questions," said Allerson. "Instead, we take our feelings and emotions and turn them into research questions."

“Matt is known and respected for his focus on scientific excellence, his collaboration, and for his leadership,” says Montse Torremorell, DVM, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine at the University of Minnesota. “These qualities exemplify what we strive to honor with the Science in Practice Award. We salute Matt for his outstanding work and his generosity and humanity toward others in the industry. 

Allerson earned his DVM in 2009, his Master’s in Public Health in 2010, and a PhD. in 2013—all from the University of Minnesota. As a student and practicing veterinarian, Allerson has authored or coauthored 20 peer-reviewed publications and nearly 30 abstracts and articles in conference proceedings. In addition to his many professional accomplishments, Allerson’s proudest moments are with his wife, Jenna, and watching his family—Owen, August and Adeline—grow and spend time together.

Allerson will receive his award September 23 at the annual Leman Swine Conference in St. Paul. The conference is the industry’s premier health and production management conference.

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