Throughout his distinguished professional career, Dr. Bob Morrison was an integral part of the swine community as a practitioner, professor, swine producer, researcher, veterinarian, mentor, and valued colleague and friend to many. Bob was passionate about helping producers and veterinarians and led educational programs that built human capacity that transformed our industry. With this spirit in mind, the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine has established the Morrison Legacy Fund to carry forward Bob’s impact. The University-sponsored initiative focuses on outreach, integrates research and industry, working with swine practitioners and farmers, and contributes to the success of the swine industry. Contributions to the University will support a broader community of DVM students, graduate students, practitioners, and researchers to lead the industry in important and sound study and knowledge-based solutions in health and production.
Bob's career and impact on the swine industry
Bob received his DVM from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan in 1979 followed by his PhD and MBA from the University of Minnesota in 1984 and 1994 respectively. Bob started his tenure as Faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1986. Bob cherished his time teaching and mentoring veterinary and graduate students for the duration of his life. He was passionate about the swine industry and helping veterinarians and producers address their challenges. Bob served as AASV President and he was instrumental in establishing and leading the Journal of Swine Health and Production in the early days. Bob was active in various industry committees, and at the AASV, and his impact was felt at many levels. Bob coordinated two internationally recognized conferences, the Leman Swine Conference and the Leman China conference and in 2016 Bob was recognized with the prestigious Master of Pork Industry Award by the National Hog Farmer for his dedication to swine producers.
His work at the University of Minnesota helped lead the industry in the control of important diseases of swine from pseudorabies to PRRS, PED and beyond. Bob’s drive and passion invigorated everyone he touched and was evident in all aspects of his life and work. He ably combined grace, sincerity, kindness, humor, and a great vitality. He had a boundless sense of curiosity, with which he guided us to seek out answers with him. He often mentioned that if there was an attribute he wanted to be remembered for, it was “integrity”. We surely will remember Bob with integrity. Bob had a deep impact on every person that worked with him. Bob’s unique talent for creating relationships that advanced the swine industry culminated in the creation of the Swine Health Monitoring Project (SHMP) (now called the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Program), an initiative that Bob conducted with great pride. The MSHMP has led the swine communities to share data to more effectively manage and control diseases, and provides a foundation to more ably address future challenges. Bob always sought to do meaningful work that would yield value for producers, veterinarians, researchers, and consumers.
The college's vision: 5 areas where your gift will make a difference
Through this initiative, the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine strives to carry forward Bob’s legacy by continuing his efforts to help producers and veterinarians, and build human capacity that transforms our industry.
- DVM students: To support and expand innovation in veterinary practice, we are creating the Morrison Swine Innovator Prize for DVM students who show innovation in problem solving swine challenges. The goal is to aid in the development of a new generation of innovative swine veterinarians who serve as leaders to the swine industry.
- Graduate students: Provide graduate student support in Bob's name to develop future industry leaders to conduct in depth studies of specific problems in swine health, production and economics.
- Partner practitioners: We are formalizing opportunities for partner veterinarians to work with the team of University of Minnesota faculty and staff to support, challenge, and contextualize the work done by the UMN swine group to identify problems, create solutions and build practitioner capacity in swine production and economics.
- Swine production and economics experts: we will create additional opportunities to leverage our global network to bring national and internationally recognized experts to spend limited periods of time working to provide solutions to emerging needs of the swine industry.
- Data Analytic Response Team (DART): We propose to expand opportunities to provide in-depth technical support to the UMN swine group (internally) and the swine industry (externally) in areas such as statistics, research trial design, database management and economic analysis.