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Mississippi Veterinarian Receives Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine’s El Toro Award

By Janet McCoy, 334/844-3698, mccoyjl@auburn.edu

Auburn, Alabama —

Mississippi native Richard M. Hopper has been awarded the El Toro Award for Excellence in Food Animal Medicine at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine for his dedicated and significant body of work in the food animal practice.

Hopper, a professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine at Mississippi State University and an Extension Veterinarian with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, was presented the award during the college’s 107th Annual Conference.

Hopper entered private practice in Oneonta, Ala., following graduation from the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, as the youngest member of the class of 1978. Following a brief stint in private practice, Hopper went to work with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. At Mississippi State Hopper became a Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists, and he established the Theriogenology service at MSU, which has grown to have a substantial multi-species case load and has maintained an active and successful resident training program. 

The Society for Theriogenology has called upon Hopper's leadership in several capacities over the past decade, serving as president in 2012.  He has provided numerous presentations at scientific and lay meetings across the United States and continues to be a valuable resource to practitioners and students seeking guidance and expertise in the field of theriogenology. 

Hopper recently completed editing a text book on bovine reproductive medicine and surgery, which includes an international list of contributing authors and promises to become one of the standard textbooks in the field of Theriogenology. 

The El Toro Award for Excellence in Food Animal Medicine was established at Auburn University in 1994 and is awarded annually through the generosity of Dr. James G. Floyd, Jr. in memory of his father J.G. Floyd. The award recognizes a veterinarian, who through their contributions to food animal practice, organized veterinary medicine, high ideals and dedication to the production of food animals, serves as a role model for veterinary students.

A major focus of the award is to provide opportunity for interaction between veterinary students and the recipient to interest students in food animal veterinary medicine.

 Selection criteria includes outstanding service to the practice of food animal medicine, food animal production, organized veterinary medicine and other exemplary service to the food animal industries. The philosophy, professionalism, and high moral character of the recipients make them role models for veterinary students.

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Dr. Richard Hopper, left, with Calvin Johnson, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn.