Maine Government News
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry:Commissioner Selects New State Veterinarian
November 29, 2012
Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
AUGUSTA, Maine -- Commissioner Walter Whitcomb of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Michele Walsh as Maine State Veterinarian.
Walsh, who assumed her position this week, will work within the Division of Animal & Plant Health to monitor the health of domestic animals and diseases that affect both humans and animals statewide.
“We’re pleased to have Dr. Walsh join the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry team,” Commissioner Whitcomb said. “She’ll contribute her extensive experiences assisting individuals, as well as monitoring conditions impacting food safety, emergency response, and state and regional health responsibilities,”
“I’m looking forward to working closely with Maine’s diverse agricultural community,” Walsh said. “Proper animal care is the hallmark of Maine farmers, small and large. They are a great group of individuals, and I’ll learn from them as I share my diverse background in both clinical and on-the-farm settings.”
Among Walsh’s responsibilities is overseeing Maine’s certification and testing programs to ensure compliance with interstate and international requirements for the exportation of animals; assisting dairy producers to improve milk quality; preventing the introduction and spread of contagious, infections and parasitic disease among poultry and livestock; and monitoring Maine’s agricultural fairs.
A New England native, the new state veterinarian spent as much time as possible on her family’s dairy farms in Ireland. She moved to mid-coast Maine in 2001 after graduation from veterinary school. Walsh received her Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in English and Irish literature from Brown University and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Tufts University of Veterinary Medicine.
Walsh has had a long-term interest in disease ecology and agriculture, especially as they relate to animal husbandry and food safety. She was a veterinarian in clinical practice with mixed and companion animals and then worked five years with a Maine aquatic animal diagnostic laboratory. She has practiced in Maine, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and New Brunswick, Canada.
The state veterinarian has worked on disease surveillance programs in the U.S. and Canada and has performed regulatory work on some food animals and aquatic wildlife from all parts of the globe. She has also led biosecurity workshops for food animal producers throughout the U.S. and has experience with international animal and animal-product import and export policies.
Walsh and her husband live in Round Pond.
(photo courtesy of Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry)Dr. Michele Walsh of Round Pond has been appointed Maine State Veterinarian for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.