New State Veterinarian Selected In Montana
The Montana Board of Livestock is pleased to announce that Dr. Tahnee Szymanski has been selected to serve as the state veterinarian for Montana. In addition to the title of state veterinarian, Dr. Szymanski will also be responsible for the administration of the Montana Department of Livestock’s Animal Health and Food Safety Division.
Szymanski, a 2004 graduate of Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, brings a wealth of knowledge about disease management, animal disease traceability, state and federal policy, and Montana’s livestock industry. She first joined the department in 2008 working on animal disease traceability. Since that start, Szymanski has worked as a program veterinarian and most recently as the assistant state veterinarian.
“I am honored for the opportunity to continue to serve Montana’s livestock industry,” said Szymanski. “I am so proud to be associated with the livestock industry and greatly appreciate the ability to interact with veterinary colleagues and livestock producers from around the state to collectively work towards improving animal health and ensuring that consumers are able to safely enjoy the products of our tremendous production systems.”
In 15 years of regulatory experience, Dr. Szymanski has worked on a variety of complex issues, including the state’s first tuberculosis affected herd in at least a half century and the ensuing epidemiological investigation, a large multi-state Q fever outbreak with associated human cases, and a large trichomoniasis outbreak in central Montana.
“Tahnee has been a valued asset to the Department of Livestock and Montana’s livestock industry for a long time,” said Mike Honeycutt, Executive Officer for MDOL. “She has earned much-deserved respect from veterinarians, livestock producers, and our public health counterparts. Her reputation as a state animal health professional extends nationally beyond the borders of Montana.”
As a native Montanan, Szymanski hopes to continue to build on the strong foundation of the department and work to ensure disease management programs are progressive and in line with current science, to advance the department’s level of emergency preparedness, and to continue the strong working relationships and engagement with industry. Dr. Szymanski’s selection is also significant in the history of the Montana Department of Livestock. Female veterinarians have served in interim or acting capacities as state veterinarian in the past, however, Dr. Szymanski is the first ever female to be officially installed as State Veterinarian of Montana on a permanent, ongoing basis.
The mission of the Montana Department of Livestock is to control and eradicate animal diseases, prevent the transmission of animal diseases to humans, and to protect the livestock industry from theft and predatory animals.
For more information on the MDOL, visit www.liv. mt.gov.