Congratulations to the 2021 Colorado Livestock Association Top Choice Award Honorees

Greeley, CO – During the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Colorado Livestock Association the Top Choice Award was presented to Dr. Keith Roehr, retired State Veterinarian, and Dr. Bernard Rollin, animal ethicist for their significant contributions to the livestock industry in Colorado.

The Top Choice Award is given by CLA to individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to improving livestock agriculture in Colorado. Past honorees have come from all walks of life, but the common thread is that they embody a deep-rooted belief in the importance of agriculture to the future of this state, the country, and the world.

From Left: Dwain Weinrich, President, Dr. Keith Roehr, Top Choice Award Recipient, and Bill Hammerich, CEO, CLA. Not Pictured: Dr. Bernard Rollin, Top Choice Award Recipient

Keith Roehr


“Over time livestock producers in Colorado have been fortunate to have State Veterinarians who understood the livestock business and as a result their decisions were made from a foundation of common sense and practicality. Dr. Roehr richly deserves to be on that list. During his tenure he had to make some difficult decisions related to brucellosis, tuberculosis and pet animal care and he did so by reaching out to those who would be impacted by his decisions and getting them to the table,” Bill Hammerich stated during the award presentation.

Dr. Keith Roehr was raised on a family farm in western Kansas that included irrigated corn and wheat production in addition to small cow/calf and swine operations. He completed his DVM from Kansas State University in 1981 and entered private practice. He practiced mixed and small animal veterinary medicine until 1995. In 1995, Dr. Roehr joined the State Veterinarian’s Office of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, he was appointed the Colorado State Veterinarian in 2009 and served until May 1st 2021. Dr. Roehr is past-president of the Western States Livestock Health Association. Currently, he is a member of the US Animal Health Association, and is past co-chairman for the committee of Animal Emergency Management. In 2011-2013. Dr. Roehr served as the president of the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials. He served on the boards of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network Coordinating Council, the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases and the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Dr. Roehr is a member of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Livestock Association, Colorado Veterinary Medical Association and American Veterinary Medical Association.

Bernard Rollin

“Several years ago, a group was formed, through legislation, that created a group of like-minded livestock producers, under the direction of the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture to deal with the animal welfare challenges that producers in Colorado were dealing with. Remember I just mentioned like-minded, that was until Dr. Rollin became part of the group. For me what Bernie did was bring a whole different dynamic to the table. He helped all of us better understand what makes the animal activist community tick. He encouraged us to sit down with Wayne Pacelle, who at the time was the head of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and was supporting an initiative that would change confinement standards for pork, chickens, and veal calves.

The inscription on the crystal says Dr. Bernard Rollin “A resolute advocate for animals and mankind alike” and for me no one embodies those words more than Dr. Bernard Rollin, CLA Top Choice Award recipient for 2021,” Bill Hammerich stated in his presentation. 

Bernie Rollin is a bioethicist and a University Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Philosophy, Biomedical Sciences and Animal Sciences. His research and teaching focuses on animal ethics, genetic engineering, animal pain, animal research, animal agriculture, veterinary ethics and other topics in bioethics and philosophy. Rollin taught the first-ever course in the world on veterinary medical ethics. He has consulted for dozens of agencies and corporations, including the Office of Technology Assessment for the United States Congress, the National Institute of Health, the World Health Organization, the USDA, United Airlines, McDonald’s, PETCO, Chipotle and the U.S. Soybean Association.
Rollin has served on the Pew National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production and the Institute for Laboratory Animal Resources Council of the National Academy of Sciences, and he founded both the animal welfare committee for the National Western Stock Show Association and the Guide Dogs for the Blind animal care and use committee. Rollin has received several awards, including the Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada Brownlee Award, Henry Spira Award in Animal Welfare, American Veterinary Medical Association Humane Award, Denver Dumb Friends League Sheilagh R Malo Humanitarian Award, and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Lifetime Achievement Award. His book Animal Rights and Human Morality won the American Association of University Libraries Outstanding Book of the Year Award. Rollin earned his B.A. from the City College of New York and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. In addition to his teaching and research, he writes a monthly column on veterinary ethics for the Canadian Veterinary Journal.

Colorado Livestock Association Top Choice Award Recipients
F.M. “Pete” PetersonPaul AndreTim WeigandCecil HellbuschGeorge SpencerBart NybergChuck MullerFrank KempH.L. “Jay” RoweJoe TennessenDr. Rue JensenBen HoustonTom FerrellC.W. “Bill” McMillanKenneth MonfortEvan SlackChamp GrossW.D. FarrForrest BassfordFred AndersonA.R. “Bud” MiddaughNeil SkauLynn HeinzeLeroy DaltonWillard SimmsDr. John MatsushimaJohn Holtorf, Sr.Carl CarlsonCarl “Bev” BledsoeDr. Duane FlackChuck SylvesterRoger BerglundHank BrownDr. Gary SmithDr. Daryl TatumRay PowersDr. Daryl TatumDon AmentTom CamerloDr. Jim HeirdSen. Ben Nighthorse CampbellMarshall FrasierWilliam “Bill” Wailes, Jr.Terry StokesJohn StulpDr. Temple GrandinPhyllis WoodfordDr. Tony FrankDr. William “Brock” FaulknerDon BrownDr. Tony FrankMark Sponsler

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Save the date for the 2022 Annual Meeting, June 7-8, 2022, Embassy Suites Loveland, Colorado.

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.