As director of the university’s Beef Cattle Institute, Thomson believes treating cattle humanely is not only right, it’s also good for producers’ bottom line. The institute sponsors a biennial International Beef Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare.
Thomson is the former chair of the OIE Beef Cattle Production and Animal Welfare Committee, an international animal health group that develops beef cattle production and welfare standards worldwide. A K-State faculty member since 2004, Thomson teaches courses in cow/calf, stocker and feed yard production medicine, welfare and nutrition. He has published 50 peer-reviewed papers, four book chapters and 186 abstracts. He has given more than 460 invited talks around the world on his research and experience in beef cattle welfare.
His research program has received more than $33 million in extramural grants, including $13.7 million to him as the principal investigator. He has worked with major advisory boards and committees for such industry groups as McDonald’s, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, American Farm Bureau, American Association of Bovine Practitioners and more. His expertise has been reported in many major media outlets, including CBS News, USA Today, New York Times and Los Angeles Times.
Prior to joining K-State, Thomson was director of animal health and well-being for Cactus Feeders in Amarillo, Texas, and was an associate veterinarian with Veterinary Research and Consulting Services in Greeley, Colo. He earned a bachelor’s in animal science and his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Iowa State University, a master’s in ruminant nutrition from South Dakota State University and a doctorate in ruminate nutrition from Texas Tech University.
Dr. Thomson was most recently honored as one of the top 20 influential beef and dairy veterinarians at the American Association of Bovine Practitioners Conference.