Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year

Given annually to a swine veterinarian who is an AASV member, 5 years or less post-graduation, who has demonstrated the ideals of exemplary service and proficiency early in his/ her career.

The 2020 Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year is Dr James Wesley Lyons.

From Paris, Tennessee, Lyons grew up in a mixed-animal veterinary life. The son of a mixed-animal veterinarian, Lyons knew early on that he wanted to be a veterinarian. Showing Romagnola beef cattle across the United States, showing livestock in 4-H and FFA, and serving as the Tennessee State FFA Treasurer helped to shape his life and career.

Dr Lyons received a bachelor of science in animal science (2010) and his doctor of veterinary medicine (2014) from the University of Tennessee. A member of the Pipestone Veterinary Services team since 2016, he is currently the regional health director and oversees health and production recommendations for managed sow herds in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.

An emerging leader in swine health and production, Dr Lyons has served on the National Pork Board’s Animal Welfare Committee since 2015, participated in the National Pork Producers Council Veterinary Public Policy and Advocacy Program, served as a member of the 2019 Pig Welfare Symposium planning committee, and completed the Illinois Pork Producers Association’s Future Leaders Program.

During October 2019, Dr Lyons shared his story of pork production and delivered the historic 10,000th Operation Mainstreet presentation to nurses at the Northern Illinois Chapter of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses Fall Forum in Rockford, Ill.

Dr Lyons has been an AASV member since 2011 when he joined as a student. He continues to serve the organization in leadership roles, first as a member of the AASV Swine Health Committee and now vice-chair of the Committee on Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. He has a special interest in pig welfare and survivability.

Nominated for this award by mentors, colleagues, and clients, all considered Dr Lyons’ commitment to clients and veterinary skillset to be exceptional and enhanced by his personality and ability to form lasting relationships. Not only is Dr Lyons an outstanding veterinarian striving to make evidence-based decisions for the best interest of animal and public health, he forms strong connections with clients and colleagues, making everyone feel valued. A client described Dr Lyons as, “A very fine veterinarian, but even better human being.”

Upon acceptance of the award, Dr Lyons commented, “I am both humbled and grateful to be selected for this honor. Being a swine veterinarian and getting the opportunity to work with family farmers has been fulfilling beyond expectation. Five years has flown by, and we’re just getting started!”

Dr Lyons lives in Dekalb, Illinois, with his husband, Preston.

Young Swine Veterinarian of the Year Award recipients:

2008   Jason Kelly
2009   Mike Pierdon
2010   Michelle Sprague
2011   Marlin Hoogland
2012   Deborah Murray
2013   Amber Stricker
2014   Aaron Lower
2015   Megan Inskeep
2016   Chase Stahl
2017   Joshua Ellingson
2018   Adam Schelkopf
2019   Paul Thomas
2020   James Wesley Lyons