Ethan Andress, part owner of the West River Vet Clinic, was recently elected president of the South Dakota Veterinarian Medical Association.
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Ethan Andress, part owner of the West River Veterinary Clinic, has dedicated most of his life to veterinarian medical practice.
Although many in Adams County know about Andress’s involvement in the local clinic, his dedication to the veterinary profession extends well past Hettinger.
After many years of volunteering with the South Dakota Veterinarian Medical Association (SDVMA), Andress was recently elected president of the organization.
The SDVMA organization’s main goals, according to Andress, are to unite South Dakotan veterinarians and ultimately benefit the profession as a whole. “It’s a way for the veterinarians to get on the same page and work toward a common goal,” said Andress.
For 22 years, Andress has been an active a member of the SDVMA. Through the years, he moved around the organization, volunteering in many aspects of the group.
Specifically, Andress served the SDVMA as both a regional representative and as an acting member in many of the committees within the organization.
Although there is an election process for the position of president, Andress said that the election is more of a formality. Instead, Andress was approached to be president by the board of directors, likely because of his thorough understanding of the organization’s different parts.
“Being approached for the position of president was likely the result of staying involved long enough,” laughed Andress.
Andress’s new responsibilities as president will involve event planning, legislative representation, and public relations.
“The biggest thing that could happen would be if there is a legislative problem in Pierre, I would be the first one contacted to testify and represent the industry,” he said, “I do have some responsibility we go on certain issues, but mostly, I’m just a figurehead on a board.”
Looking forward, Andress said that his personal goals for the future of the organization already align with the organization’s current broader goals.
In the coming years, Andress said that he wants to introduce more young individuals to the board of directors and increase youth involvement. He hopes these changes will keep the organization adaptable and thriving.
“For the last 15 years, our objective has been to get young people involved,” said Andress “We are trying to use our young people to change our organization, without changing too much tradition.”
Andress said that 22 years ago he never expected to have the position he now holds, and he now wants to pave the way for future generations.
“It’s really an honor to be in this position,” said Andress. “The people that have been in this position, I have great respect for. The big thing along the way is to make sure that veterinarians have left a very positive reputation, and it’s very important for me to continue that.”