WORTHINGTON - Dr. Wayne Freese, president of Cambridge Technologies, has been appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to the USDA Advisory Committee on Animal Health.

Freese will represent swine producers for the next two years as he serves on the committee. A large animal veterinarian by trade, he has 30 years of experience working in swine vaccine labs. Freese previously served on the committee during the Obama administration, under the leadership of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.

The committee comprises “people representing all facets of livestock,” Freese said, including industry professionals, professors, veterinarians, practitioners and producers. The group, composed of 20 to 25 people, works together to plan for animal health issues in American agriculture. It meets in Washington once a year and otherwise collaborates through conference calls.

Last time Freese served on the committee, it focused on establishing a vaccine bank for foot-and-mouth disease.

“If we have a foreign animal disease hit in the United States,” he said, “we need to be prepared for it.”

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Freese expects the committee to focus on African swine fever and chronic wasting disease this time around.

He enjoyed his previous opportunity to serve because he “learned a lot about the real livestock concerns in the United States,” Freese said.

“You also get to find out what’s going on in other countries. You learn whether it’s possible to stop a disease,” he added.

Freese invites anyone who has livestock concerns to contact him at wfreese@cambridgetechnologies.com. He will bring local concerns to the committee to try to find solutions for all American farmers.