The Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association has named Dr. Judith Batker the 2018 WVMA Veterinarian of the Year, an honor she received during the organization’s 103rd annual convention Oct. 11 in Madison.

A 1995 graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, Batker co-founded Country View Veterinary Service, located in Oregon, with Drs. Larry Mahr and Rene Reynolds in 1999. In 2017, she left that practice when she co-founded Country View Equine Clinic, also located in Oregon, with Drs. Laura Anderson and Stephanie Miesen.

Batker is a mentor to many, serving as a clinical instructor for students who are part of the UW School of Veterinary Medicine Ambulatory Rotation, hosting students from around the U.S. and abroad for externships, organizing and presenting wet labs for regional equine veterinarians and farriers, and giving her time and skills to 4-H and FFA youth training. She is a past WVMA executive board and executive committee member and is currently serving on the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Foundation’s inaugural board.

Batker is also very involved in Equitarian Initiative, serving as an active member and past board member. The non-profit corporation works both internationally and in South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation to provide veterinary care for working horses, donkeys and mules and to teach local owners and handlers how to provide better health care. Batker has worked in the Pine Ridge Reservation for eight years and in Haiti for five years.

“Dr. Judy Batker is very deserving of Wisconsin Veterinarian of the Year,” said 2017-2018 WVMA President Dr. Robert Leder. “Besides being a well-respected mentor to many students here, Judy’s impact extends beyond Wisconsin. Her volunteer services to Native Americans in South Dakota and her ongoing outreach to Haiti have improved the lives of both people and their work animals.

“The world is a better place because of Dr. Judy Batker.”