By Teresa McMinn, Reading Eagle Correspondent
Originally published at Berks Country
Hubert Karreman said he feels like he’s arrived home.
The founder and principal of Bovinity Health, a small medical company where he practiced antibiotic-free treatment for infectious diseases in livestock, was recently named Rodale Institute’s veterinarian. Karreman, who worked 15 years with certified organic dairy herds in Lancaster County, said he is pleased to join Rodale’s team.
“I’ve been watching the Rodale Institute for 25 years,” he said of learning the nonprofit organization expanded its organic farming practices to include a livestock program. “Rodale is the pinnacle of the organic community.”
Karreman will be responsible for building partnerships, working with collaborators on pasture projects and providing expertise to organic dairy farmers. He’ll also represent the Rodale Institute at agricultural conferences.
Organic practices are growing as more conventional farmers become certified in the field, he said.
“Organic agriculture is the brightest spot in agriculture,” he said.
In addition to being a published author, Karreman served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Standards Board from 2005 to 2010. As chairman of the organization’s livestock committee for three years, he made recommendations for USDA regulatory implementations.
At Rodale’s Maxatawny Township farm, he plans to develop an educational program for conventional and organic farmers focused on organic veterinary health for livestock.
Karreman has done extensive teaching on natural ways to treat cows with ailments such as pneumonia. He’ll apply for competitive grants to fund research programs and pilot studies and host workshops at Rodale and elsewhere, he said.
While he specializes in working with dairy cows, he said he’s eager to work with other species, including swine and poultry.
He recently applied acupuncture to a sick sow and said the animal responded quickly to the treatment.
Rodale provides the platform and resources for him to expand his work in the organic livestock field, he said. Though Rodale promotes organic methods, Karreman will work with organic and conventional farmers.
“Hopefully I can be a bridge between the two communities,” he said. “It’s just a dream come true.”
In a statement, Mark Smallwood, Rodale’s executive director, said Karreman will expand the scope of the institute’s research.
“Dr. Karreman’s wisdom and methods have grown from years of hands-on experience and study,” he said. “Dairy farmers and researchers around the world continue to seek him out as the leading authority on organic veterinary animal health.”
Photo by Lauren A. Little for Reading Eagle