The leader of South Carolina’s effort to maintain the health of sheep and goats now leads the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners (AASRP).
Patty Scharko, a veterinarian for Clemson’s Livestock-Poultry Health and Cooperative Extension programs, will serve a two-year term as president of the association, which provides assistance to veterinarians who work with small ruminants: sheep, goats, camelids, elk, deer and other related species.
With more than 1,000 members in the United States and abroad, the association supports education, research and training to promote health and productivity of the small ruminant industry. Founded in 1968, it works with regulatory agencies, to further the professional development of members and to provide resources to elevate the standards of small ruminant medicine.
Scharko is a field and extension veterinarian based in Columbia who specializes in the production, management and herd health of goats, sheep and beef cattle. Her major activities include beef quality assurance, Scrapie eradication, biosecurity, and FAMACHA/parasite control training in small ruminants.
“It’s quite an honor to have Dr. Scharko lead the AASRP and a recognition of how she is viewed by her colleagues in the field,” said Boyd Parr, state veterinarian and director of Clemson University Livestock-Poultry Health. “Professional associations like this are an important method of sharing current information and furthering the goal of improving animal health across the country.”
The association encourages education, training and research in veterinary medicine for the purpose of promoting good health and productivity of small ruminant animals. The association also cooperates with veterinary and agricultural organizations and government regulatory agencies to encourage the adoption of technical and management programs and policies that will promote health and productivity of small ruminants.
“We’re an organization for veterinarians and professionals who want to further their knowledge of small ruminants, build relationships with peers around the world, and provide the most currently recommended services and products to clients,” Scharko said. “This is a very challenging time in the field of animal health and I’m excited for this opportunity.”