Dr. Lisa Tokach is a 1990 graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Lucky for her, she ended up joining Dr. Steve Henry in mixed animal practice at the Abilene Animal Hospital in Abilene, Kansas. A year later, her husband Mike joined the swine team in Animal Science & Industry at Kansas State University as a swine nutritionist. A few years after that, her brother-in-law and vet school classmate, Dr. Steve Dritz joined the KSU swine team from the vet school side. As a team and with many other colleagues and producers at their side, they proceeded to try to stomp out swine disease and pestilence while attempting to keep their clients’ operations profitable and the pigs well fed.
Lisa always felt like the undereducated one of the group, so in 2000 she pushed to complete her ABVP board certification in Swine Health Management Practice. Since the beginning of her veterinary career, membership in the American Association of Swine Veterinarians was a driving force so she tried to give back by serving on various committees, the AASV board of directors, and eventually the AASV president in 2002. Throughout her career so far, Dr. Tokach is grateful to be involved in the many facets of her clients’ production systems. AAH’s focus is always on addressing clients’ needs whether through industry-funded research trials designed to test a new theory or small field trials designed at the producer’s kitchen table to answer their burning question. She has always been a science nerd and this paid off in 2008 when Dr. Tokach was extremely honored to receive AASV’s Swine Practitioner of the Year award.
Currently, Dr. Tokach works to keep science relevant in practice. She also uses it in her committee work such as serving on the Animal Welfare Committee for the AVMA. Perhaps most importantly, she is trying to use it to benefit others by working to promote good animal husbandry around the world with organizations such as Heifer International. Over the years many student interns have graced the doors of Abilene Animal Hospital, but none with a higher level of curiosity than Dr. Megan Potter, who after completing her DVM at Purdue and her PhD in viral epidemiology at KSU joined the now seven doctor team as the third “swine guy”. With Dr. Potter on board and Dr. Henry at the helm, Lisa feels they will never run out of reasons to ask “Why does that happen?” or “How does that work?”. Lisa lives near Abilene, Kansas with her husband Mike and their three children Sage, Rogan, and Fiona. For biosecurity reasons the family cannot keep pigs, so they practice science at home with meat goats and honeybees.