Katie Mrdutt, DVM, Food Armor® Executive Director
Dr. Katie Mrdutt graduated with her DVM degree from the University of Minnesota in 2011 and worked as a large animal veterinarian for 3 years focusing on dairy production systems. In July of 2014, she joined the WVMA as the Outreach Specialist for the Food Armor® program. In her current role, Dr. Mrdutt works with producers and veterinarians to train them on the Food Armor® program, working towards the goal of long term proper drug use on our farms. She currently resides in Boyceville, WI with her husband, three children and their herd of beef cows.
Food Armor® Foundation Board of Directors
Jennifer Walker DVM, PhD, Dip. ACVPM- President
A California Native, Jennifer earned her Bachelor’s in Animal Science (1994) and her DVM (2000) from the University of California at Davis. As an associate veterinarian in a California practice specializing in dairy herd health she developed her interests in on-farm education, udder health and animal welfare. In 2010 she completed her PhD in Veterinary Preventive Medicine at The Ohio State University where she also minored in University Education. Her work in education included the development and delivery of a graduate level course, “Current Issues in Animal Welfare” in addition to serving as in Assistant Instructor for the required veterinary ethics course, leading lectures on humane euthanasia and animal handling. Jennifer joined Dean Foods as their Director of Dairy Stewardship in July of 2010. In this role she has been putting to use her expertise in on farm milk quality and passion for animal welfare by working with customers, suppliers, dairy farmers to develop an industry wide standard that promotes the good welfare of dairy cattle. Over the last seven years she has had a firsthand view of the intersection between politics, policy, profit and people and how it can drive positive change in animal welfare as much as it can hinder it. Today she works with her team of Dairy Stewardship Specialists, executing the Dean program, working to help farmers identify areas where they need to improve to improve the welfare of their cows and the health of their business.
M. Gatz Riddell, DVM, MS, DACT- Vice President
Gatz Riddell was raised on a homesteaded farm near Conway, KS. He received his D.V.M. degree from Kansas State University in 1977. Following an internship and residency at Auburn University from 1977 to 1981, he practiced in Tennessee until returning to Auburn University in 1984. He became a Diplomat of the American College of Theriogenologists in 1982 and received his MS from Auburn in 1984. Dr. Riddell represented the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) on the AVMA Drug Advisory Committee and later served on and chaired AVMA’s Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents. He received the AABP Award of Excellence in 1999. He retired from Auburn University in 2005 as Professor Emeritus and was the Executive Vice President of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners from 2005 until December 31, 2016. He is a Past President of both the AABP and the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC). He lives in Auburn, Alabama and is married to Kay Pelly Riddell and they have three children, Molly, Wes and Jonathan.
Kim Stackhouse, PhD- Secretary/Treasurer
Kim Stackhouse is the Director of Sustainability for JBS USA where she is responsible for coordinating the JBS North American sustainability program, inclusive of the Company’s beef, pork, poultry, case ready, cattle feeding, transportation, and branded product business. In this role, Kim leads the Company’s internal sustainability program and public reporting initiatives to leverage best practices and reduce environmental and social impacts. Kim is a board member of U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and is active in the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry and Egg and Field to Market
Kim has spent the last ten years working in the area of sustainability. Most recently, she served as the Executive Director of Global Sustainability at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association where she led the first and largest sustainability assessment of the beef value chain and coordinated the establishment of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.
Kim received her PhD in Animal Science from the University of California, Davis and was a postdoctoral fellow at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She was recently recognized as a UC Davis “alumni spotlight” by the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science for her leadership in the area of sustainability.
Charles (Chuck) Adami, CEO Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association
Chuck is the president and CEO of Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association, which is Wisconsin’s largest and the nation’s second largest independent livestock marketing agency. Chuck joined the cooperative in 2000 as the vice president of finance and CFO. He assumed the position of president and CEO in 2002.
Chuck serves on several state and national agricultural boards. His current involvement includes the Executive Committee and Past President of the Wisconsin Beef Council, the Executive Committee and Nominating Committee for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the Chairman of NCBA's Livestock Marketing Council, the Director for the U.S. Meat Export Federation, the Vice Chairman of the Animal Ag Committee for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) and the Director on the Government Affairs Committee for NCFC
Chuck attended the University of Arizona at Tucson and received a B.A. degree in accounting and a master’s degree in economics. After graduating, he spent a few years in public accounting and then 20 plus years in the commercial airline business. Chuck is the proud father of two grown children and has one grandchild. He and his wife, Jill, live in Lodi, Wisconsin. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf.
Keith York, Owner Merry-Water Farms
Keith York is a sixth generation dairy farmer from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. He owns Merry-Water Farms with his brother Ken and cousin John Tueting. Merry-Water milks 1600 cows, raises 1500 heifers on the farm and crops 720 acres. Keith is married to Laura and they have two children Michael and Katie, along with 4 grandkids.
Keith is a member of Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Beef Council, Dairy Business Association, Wisconsin Cattlemen, National Cattlemen Beef Association, Cattlemen Beef Board and Farm Bureau. He is also the President of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium and a member of the Beef Quality Assurance Advisory Committee. Keith have been serving as a committee member of PDPW and WVMA with "What Matters" since 2010 (which was the beginning of the Food Armor® program).
Marty Hallock, Owner Mar-Bec Dairy
Marty of Mondovi, Wis., is a first generation dairy producer. Starting with 40 cows in 1990, Mar-Bec Dairy today has 925 cows, 600 heifers and 400 heifers raised off farm at various neighbors. A graduate of UW-River Falls, Marty works 1850 acres owned and rented, which supplies the corn and alfalfa for the dairy. The farm is supported by 17 full-time and 10-12 part-time/as-needed team members. Held close by both owners and employees, the farm’s culture is to build a profitable dairy as a leader by providing an environment where people and cows can excel and enjoy.
Marty is active in his community having sat on the local school board for 17 years, 10 of which he held the role of president, the CESA board for 9 years, 7 of which he was president and works closely with UW-River Falls and the Chippewa Valley Technical College through mentorship programs and internships. He is also very engaged within the dairy industry, currently serving as president of the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin and Vice-chair on the Ellsworth Creamery Board of Directors.
Marty and his wife Becky have two sons, Jonathon and Josh. Jonathon is the next generation and will be joining the operation. Josh is a Senior at UW-Stout in Agriculture Business Finance.
Thomas Strause, DVM
Dr. Tom Strause grew up on a 250 cow dairy farm in Mineral Point, WI. He was involved in 4-H and FFA with many livestock projects. After attending UW-Platteville and obtaining a degree in animal science and agribusiness he was accepted to UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine where he graduated in 1999. Dr. Strause started working for Stateline Veterinary Service in 2000 and became an owner in 2004. The practice is a 6 Doctor practice located in Darien, WI and focuses on food animal medicine exclusively with an emphasis in preventative production medicine. The practice provides complete herd protocol development and residue avoidance programs, has an in-house mastitis culture lab and service for milking equipment evaluation, provides embryo transfer and nutrition consulting services and has a medicine supply company that includes delivery along with dairy equipment sales and repair service. The practice also manages Stateline Heifers, a grower for some of their client’s heifers.
On a more personal note, Dr. Strause’s wife is a small animal veterinarian and they have 4 children; 11 year old triplets and a 8 year old. They operate a 40 head cow-calf beef farm on 106 acres in Delavan, WI. In his free time, Dr. Strause enjoys hunting, gardening, beekeeping, and sports. He was honored to receive the 2013 Dairy Quality Veterinarian of the Year award and is an active committee member of the Food Armor® Program.
Jeff Bleck, DVM
Dr. Bleck graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine in 1996. Following graduation in joined Kettle Moraine Veterinary Clinic, which at the time was a mixed animal practice. In 2005, the large and small animal portions of the clinic split and Dr. Bleck became one of the three owners of Dairy Doctors Veterinary Services, Plymouth, WI. Dairy Doctors is a 7 doctor predominately dairy practice with clients ranging from 30 to 3000 cows. The clinic is committed to strong working relationships with their clients, helping them to achieve success for their business. They pride themselves in their efforts to anticipate, adapt to, and meet the exciting challenges present in today's dairy industry. Each doctor practices as an individual, but all share a common practice philosophy and teamwork approach providing our clients with consistent and high quality services. The clinic specializes in advanced reproduction and embryo transfer, ventilation consulting, milk quality and records analysis.
Dr. Bleck has been a member of the WVMA since 1996, serving on the Professional Education Committee, Best Practices Committee and the WVMA HACCP for Proper Drug Use Committee. On the national level, he has served on the AVMA Gender Task Force and the Pfizer Dairy Advisory Board.
Dr. Bleck and his wife Lea Ann, also a veterinarian, and two children, Elise and Brady, have a small farm where they raise about 10-20 show heifers each year. Dr. Bleck enjoys exhibiting Brown Swiss and Holstein dairy cattle with his family at various shows throughout the year, coaching his kids’ basketball teams and playing golf. He also helps coach the Sheboygan County Dairy Judging teams, the Sheboygan County Dairy Quiz Bowl teams and the Sheboygan County Dairy Herd Management Teams.
Stacey Adams, DVM
Biography coming soon
Food Armor® Committee
Jon Garber, VMD, DABVP (Dairy)
Nigel Cook, BVSc Cert CHP DBR MRCVS
Glen Johnson, DVM
Hunter Lang, DVM
Jeffrey Loomans, DVM
Julie McGwin, DVM
Terri Ollivett, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
David Rhoda, DVM
Tom Strause, DVM
Richard Wallace, DVM, MS
~To the memory of Dr. Thomas Howard, for all his commitment and support, we dedicate the Food Armor® program. Without his knowledge Food Armor® would not be what it is today. We will always remember you.~