Penn State Extension's Wolfgang named state veterinarian

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Dr. David Wolfgang, who has served for the past 17 years as the Penn State Extension veterinarian overseeing the Dairy Production Medicine Certificate Program, has been named the state veterinarian by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The Pennsylvania Furnace, Centre County, resident will oversee the department's Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services after retiring from Penn State Extension and the College of Agricultural Sciences, effective July 31.

Wolfgang had been with Penn State since 1995. Wolfgang will replace Dr. Craig Shultz, who retired as state veterinarian in April 2015.

"Pennsylvania’s livestock industry faces many challenges and threats that are so often linked to issues of public health and safety. It was clear to us that whoever leads our animal health initiatives must be both a great resource and communicator to producers, veterinarians and citizens alike," said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.

"Dr. Wolfgang fills that role, with a comprehensive approach to health — acknowledging that food, animal and human health are inextricably connected — that has been honed from more than two decades as an investigative veterinarian. On top of that, he recognizes the significance of our statewide animal health and diagnostic laboratory system, so his leadership and experience working within the system will be crucial as we move forward."

As bureau director, Wolfgang also will serve as executive director of the state's Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission. He will collaborate with state, federal and industry partners on domestic animal health regulations, as well as domestic animal disease surveillance and response, including the ongoing highly pathogenic avian influenza preparedness efforts.

"Collaborative efforts are necessary to address the important health challenges for society, animals and our environment," said Wolfgang. "The crucial statewide and national needs for public health, food safety and security, production animal health and profitability, rapid and relevant diagnostic strategies, and comparative medicine have not gone away, and if anything, have increased. I look forward to taking on this new role and to the work that will be undertaken as a public servant."

For 21 years, Wolfgang served as the director of the Field Investigation Unit in Penn State’s Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences and as co-director of the University's Center for Animal Care and Health. Previously, he was a large animal practitioner in Shippensburg, Cumberland County, and Warriors Mark, Huntingdon County.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine, he is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners certified in dairy practice. Wolfgang also has completed extensive post-graduate training in pathobiology and dairy production medicine, and he recently earned a master's of public health from the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey.

Former Penn State Extension veterinarian David Wolfgang has been named the new state veterinarian by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated August 05, 2016