September 13, 2011

Missouri Director of Agriculture Announces New State Veterinarian

Dr. Taylor Woods will stay on as senior advisor to the Director on livestock industry issues

Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler announced Dr. Linda Hickam as Missouri's State Veterinarian today in Jefferson City. A native of Columbia, Mo. and graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Hickam, will serve as Missouri's lead animal health authority and administrative head of the Department's Division of Animal Health. Dr. Taylor Woods will stay on as a senior advisor to Dr. Hagler on livestock industry issues.

"Missouri's animal health practices are among the best in the nation and I am confident Dr. Hickam is the right person to take over," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "Dr. Hickam has worked closely with Dr. Woods over the past three years and the livestock industry will continue to move forward under her leadership."

Dr. Hickam has been with the Missouri Department of Agriculture since 2007. For the past three years she has served as Missouri's Deputy State Veterinarian and State Epidemiologist. She has a diverse background in animal health, including small and large animal practice, commercial livestock production and sales facilities, as well as regulation and policy development.

"Dr. Hickam's academic training, knowledge of the Department and experience will serve her well as state veterinarian," said Dr. Taylor Woods. "I am looking forward to working with the Director on livestock issues and being of assistance to Linda as she leads the animal health division."

A native of Ava, Mo., Taylor Woods has served as Missouri's top veterinarian twice, with a total tenure of nearly 20 years. During Missouri's 2011 State Fair, the Fair Commission dedicated the Dr. Taylor Woods Youth Building, in honor of his service to Missouri's young people and support of their participation at the Missouri State Fair.

For more information on the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit