QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY HONOURS: Vet's improved herds

By Mark Story

David Mossman - QSM Services to veterinary science.

Havelock North's David Mossman says his QSM for services to veterinary science is a tribute to his many colleagues.

"You accept these kinds of things to become part of the spirit of recognising the efforts of many," Mr Mossman said.

"It's very important for me, too, that this is something that's judged by your peers."

The Hawke's Bay born and bred former Lindisfarne College student jump-started his veterinary vocation by studying across the ditch at Brisbane University.

And so began an award-winning career in rural animal husbandry.

Accolades included the Adam Leslie Medal Award in 1984, the Coopers NZ Farm Management Award in the same year, and the biggest coup of all - the Australian College Veterinary Scientists' prize in 1977.

His research, which focused on collating data on the performance of beef herds from 1970-1995, highlighted issues of unprofitability of herds due to prolonged calving.

Described as a "forerunner of theory and practicality", the research led to much greater beef production and profitability.

His research also helped eradicate Bovine TB and prevent its spread.

Dr Mossman said the biggest change in 40 years of veterinary work was the wealth of data collected. "Bigger data bases usually result in better performance. Generally this means a change where we're seeing facts, rather than opinion."

So what was a career highlight?

"The people. I was very privileged to work and live in Wairoa with some fantastic and talented people. They're a very innovative and generous group of people."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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