Supporting and empowering veterinary professionals, advancing animal well-being
and promoting public health.

Strategic Goals:

  • Learning – Enhance the knowledge of veterinary professionals throughout their education and careers. 
  • Success – Provide value and opportunities to members to support career and practice success.
  • Promote & Advocate – Raise awareness of veterinary medicine to government, media and the public. 
  • Lead & Respond – Advance the veterinary profession through leadership and sustainable resources. 


January 28, 1897 - Present

Drs. C.C. Lyford, Richard Price and M.H. Reynolds called a meeting on January 28, 1897 for the purpose of starting a state veterinary organization. At the time, Dr. Reynolds was the only veterinarian employed at the University of Minnesota. Thirteen of 87 graduate students attended the meeting and an organization was born. Articles of Incorporation were filed on February 23, 1897. A number of name changes are recorded from Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association to Minnesota Veterinary Medical Society and then back to the Association.

The organization's purposes were:

  • Diffusion of knowledge
  • Extension to professional acquaintances
  • Pleasant reunions
  • Stimulation of professional study and investigation
  • Consideration of advisability of trying to improve the condition of state veterinary legislation

The first committees were: infectious diseases, finances, education, and legislation. A membership fee of $2.00 and dues of $1.00 were set.


Annual meetings were held in St. Paul until 1911 when rotation between Minneapolis and St. Paul began and continued until 1973 when the Radisson South Hotel became part of the rotation. After 1979, no meeting had been held in St. Paul until 2005. In 2006 the meeting moved to Duluth, where attendance was low, and back to Minneapolis for 2007-08. Early meetings included papers and demonstrations. More of the papers from the MVMA meetings were published in journals than from any other veterinary medical association in the country. At the end of the meeting, the next year's presenters were chosen.

Until the 1940s early meeting topics focused on horses, cattle, swine, and sheep. In 1943 the annual meeting was extended to 3 days to accommodate the inclusion of small animal sessions and papers. Public health and regulatory sessions increased the meeting days to four.

The business portion of the annual meeting has taken many formats and time frames. In the early days, the business was sandwiched in between sessions and before and after other meetings. Attendance was low as people left for home rather than attend a late business meeting that meant many business decisions were made by just a handful of people. In 1970, the business meeting was moved to a luncheon that was included in the price of the meeting.

MVMA hosted AVMA national meetings in 1902, 1928, 1955, 1969, 1993 and last in 2005.


MVMA issued a Code of Ethics in 1911 and revised it in 1920, 1927 and 1942. The Code, stressing professionalism, established rules for the proper conduct of a veterinary practice in regard to the public and fellow practitioners.


The day to day business of the Association was coordinated by the secretary-treasurer. In 1930 a committee was appointed to determine the need for an executive secretary position. The committee pointed out that to hire a full-time executive secretary, it would be necessary to raise the dues to $25 a year. The first full-time executive secretary was hired in 1970. Additional staff positions were added after 1986. Today the MVMA employs 4 full-time employees and 2 part-time employees.


The Academy of Veterinary Medical Practice was formed in 1974 with 102 charter members. The Academy developed guidelines for continuing education credits and a vehicle for recording credits to give credibility to veterinarians who furthered their education with continuing education.


Organizational meetings for the Auxiliary began in July 1935. Membership was open to wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters of members of MVMA. In 1936 the Auxiliary adopted the following objectives:

  • To help the schooling of boys studying medicine, worthy boys who are high in scholastic standing and also are in need of financial aid to further this study.
  • To interest wives of veterinarians in furthering publicity through this auxiliary.
  • That each member should try to help raise funds for the Auxiliary in any way she might favor.

The Student Loan Fund started by the Auxiliary in 1976 to provide an emergency loan to students continues today with MVMA.

The members of the Auxiliary voted to disband in February of 1999.


The MVMA gives recognition to people making outstanding contributions to veterinary medicine or profession. The Veterinarian of the Year Award, the highest honor given by the MVMA was given for the first time in 1965.


The MVMA continues its tradition of offering ongoing continuing education. Seminars and clinics are offered throughout the year and the annual meeting has an emphasis on education. In 2001, the MVMA developed a large animal exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair. The Miracle of Birth Center is a great success and met its goals of education and promoting the veterinary profession. It continues its successful Surgery Suite also at the Minnesota State Fair. Veterinary volunteers make these two exhibits possible.

The MVMA publishes a number of timely brochures that are available to clinics and practices for a minimal cost. Additional services include a referral service to member veterinarians and publication of a Radiology Manual.

Partnering with the College of Veterinary Medicine, the MVMA plays a key role in the White Coat Ceremony, the awards ceremony and sponsors a Welcome Back Barbecue for returning students.

The MVMA office provides administrative support to the Minnesota Association of Veterinary Technicians, coordinating its biannual certification testing and credentialing. Administrative support is also provided to other constituent groups in various parts of the state and VET-PAC.


The MVM Foundation is a 501 (C)3 nonprofit that serves the philanthropic needs. The Foundation hosts an annual golf tournament and a silent auction and drawing during the annual meeting. Funds raised are used to provide scholarships at the College of Veterinary Medicine, accredited Minnesota technician schools and support to other organizations involved in animal agriculture or services.


MVMA continues to build on the strengths of its past. The dedication of veterinarians in their profession and their support of the Association has enabled an increase in services, increased publicity and contributed to the profession ranking very high in the public's eye.