Meritorious Service Award
Given annually to an individual who has consistently given time and effort to the association in the area of service to the AASV members, AASV officers, and the AASV staff.
Dr Lisa Tokach is the 2020 recipient of the Meritorious Service Award.
Originally from Barnesville, Minnesota, Tokach grew up with beef cattle, Quarterhorses, and a few pigs raised for home consumption, with the understanding that animals were a priority and must be cared for first. Milking dairy cows through high school and college, she expected she would become a dairy veterinarian. She has been ever passionate about production agriculture, but it was a swine research project at North Dakota State University (NDSU) that sparked her interest in swine production.
Dr Tokach completed her undergraduate studies in animal science at NDSU. She received her doctor of veterinary medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1990. In 2001, Dr Tokach was certified as a diplomate in Swine Health Management to the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and recertified in 2011.
Dr Tokach’s early service to AASV began at the encouragement of her mentor, Dr Steve Henry. In her first year after graduation from veterinary school, she joined the Public Relations Committee. Dr Tokach has served on the Pig Welfare Committee and represented AASV on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Committee. Dr Tokach has been integral in AASV’s progress as a professional organization. She helped form new committees, including the Human Health and Safety Committee and the Student Recruitment Committee, helped establish the AASV Foundation, and continues to connect AASV with members by chairing the AASV Annual Meeting Social Media Center. She served two terms on the AASV Board of Directors representing District 7 and was the 2002 AASV president.
She continues to support AASV through all endeavors that help support the pig, the producer, and the swine veterinarian, even joining a new committee and chairing the Foundation Board this year. She has been a mentor to countless students early in their veterinary medicine paths trying to understand the balance of a successful professional career and happy and rewarding life.
Grateful for the association, Tokach stated, “I am extremely honored and humbled by this award. The AASV has given me so much in terms of learning opportunities, networking, and friendships. My involvement is only a small payback for everything I get out of it.” Dr Tokach lives in Abilene, Kansas, where she is a veterinary clinician in general practice at Abilene Animal Hospital, PA. She specializes in swine population medicine and was named AASV Swine Veterinarian of the year in 2008. She attributes her success to her family—husband Mike; three children Sage, Rogan, and Fiona; her parents; two sisters; and her team at Abilene Animal Hospital.
In her spare time, she enjoys backpacking, beekeeping, riding mules, and serving organizations that work to solve world hunger.
Meritorious Service Award recipients: