2022 Boehringer Ingelheim WCABP Veterinarian of the Year Award

January 31, 2022 Written by WCABP
Dr. Andrew Acton (recipient) Dr. Andrew Acton (recipient)

This year’s recipient of the Boehringer Ingelheim WCABP Veterinarian of the Year award is Dr. Andrew Acton from Ogema, SK.

Dr. Andy Acton grew up on a mixed farm near Lemberg, SK.  From a young age he was actively involved in the community, and a member of his local Beef 4-H club. He was always interested in veterinary medicine and enjoyed helping out the local vet when he visited the family farm. After high school he enrolled in the College of Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan. He was accepted into WCVM following completion of his second year in Agriculture. Following graduation from WCVM in 1992, he and a partner, purchased Deep South Animal Clinic in Ogema, SK.  Later Andy became the sole principal in the practice. He became a Diplomat of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Beef Cattle Practice in 2008.  He was the first Diplomat of the ABVP in Beef Cattle in Canada.

Throughout his career Dr. Acton has always strived to provide quality care to all of his patients, but innovative bovine medicine is a passion of Dr. Acton's.  He is an early adopter of current research and new technology; and will try new techniques that many would not consider as possible treatment options in rural bovine practice. For example, Dr. Acton purchased a float tank to enable the practice to better care for "down cows", and has had great success treating acute calving injuries in beef cattle as a result. This is the only float tank of its kind in a clinic in Saskatchewan.

Dr. Acton will never shrink from a challenge, and will often say, "God hates a coward" before trying a new technique.  Andy has conducted research on FPT and a comparison of in-clinic methods of assessment FPT in calves (7 herds, 1,013 calves), and has recruited clients to participate in numerous parasite studies and other clinical studies. Andy was the first marketing advisor for PDS, he was responsible for assisting in the development of several diagnostic panels most notably a herd surveillance program for BVDV.

After nearly 30 years in practice when asked what his favourite part of veterinary medicine, Dr. Acton simply replies, "watching a sick cow eat". This demonstrates his caring disposition and genuine love for his profession. 

Dr. Acton has always made a point to take time to help other practitioners with questions regarding bovine medicine and surgery. He is never far from his phone, always willing to offer advice and suggestions to others on managing unusual or difficult cases. Many new graduates and students have benefitted from Dr. Acton’s mentorship over the years. He is always willing to offer advice on surgical techniques, treatment plans, or how to cope with the stresses of veterinary medicine.

In addition to running a successful practice Dr. Acton has always been an active member of the WCABP and served as president in 2000. He has participated as a speaker for several WCABP conferences, and a panellist at the WCVM. He is an active member of the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association (SVMA) serving as president 2012 - 2013 and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP).

Dr. Acton is well known in Western Canada for his dedication to the veterinary field, and especially his prowess in bovine medicine. Despite dealing with his own difficulties as a producer and health problems Dr. Acton remains a dedicated veterinarian, member of the community, and mentor. Dr. Acton is an invaluable resource to his clients and community. It is without reservation that we nominate Dr. Acton for this award, he is truly deserving.

Congratulations Andy on being named the 2022 Boehringer Ingelheim / WCABP Veterinarian of the Year!