LANSING — Dr. Nora Wineland saw an opportunity to come back home — to become the new veterinarian for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).
Fast forward to November and Wineland, who accepted the role as state veterinarian, is now ready to collaborate with local agencies to help solve some of Michigan’s most pressing animal problems — from bovine tuberculosis to the Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, a prion disease that affects deer, elk, reindeer, sika deer and moose.
“If you look at my career over time, I am interested in finding challenging areas to work in, and I saw that the challenges present in Michigan were right up my alley,” Wineland told Michigan Farm News. “I had the desire to come back to Michigan, (and) it was the right time to come home.”
Wineland is taking over as the state’s veterinarian from Dr. James Averill, who’s been named deputy director of MDARD.
“I feel very welcomed and thrilled to be part of this excellent team,” Wineland said. “The transition here means I have to relearn Michigan politics … and find out who the players are. However, I am on that path right now.”
According to a statement, Wineland received a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science as well as a doctorate of veterinary medicine from Michigan State University. Following this, Wineland received a Master of Science degree from Colorado State University.
Prior to MDARD, Wineland served as the director of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Center for Animal Welfare.
Ernie Birchmeier, livestock and dairy specialist for the Michigan Farm Bureau, said the hire of Wineland will “prove beneficial as we continue our efforts of promoting and protecting animal health in Michigan.”
“Michigan Farm Bureau and the animal ag industry in Michigan has a long-standing tradition of working collaboratively with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and we look forward to continuing that with Dr. Wineland,” Birchmeier said. “We welcome her to Michigan and look forward to working with her.”