NEWS BITE: Remembering “The Gentle Vet,” Dr. Scott Hurd

We recently suffered the loss of an expert, professional, colleague, and most importantly, a very dear friend.  Dr. Scott Hurd, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Education at Iowa State University, passed away at his home in Iowa on March 27.  He is survived by his wife Susan, seven sons, and a daughter.

Scott was known in the professional world as an advocate for food safety and animal health.  He used his veterinary degree and PhD education to research farm-to-fork issues to inform government leadership and help educate the public.  He was a true advocate for science-based communications. Of his many achievements, he spent 15 years in government service as USDA’s Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety. 

I had the unique pleasure of meeting Scott during his tenure as Deputy Undersecretary at a USDA Public Meeting in St. Louis in 2008. I could tell immediately why my colleagues thought so highly of him.  Scott’s presentation at the meeting emphasized the need for effective food risk communication, especially during food related outbreaks and recalls.  Since that day, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with him on numerous USDA, Iowa State, and other initiatives on consumer research, food safety outreach, and food risk communication.  Scott was very active in social media, with numerous posts, and he was a leading voice on food safety and animal health discussions through his Hurd Health blog.

A memorial fund is being set up to support parenting and family mission programs through the Regnum Christi Mission Corps, a youth formation and leadership training program.  Donations can be made to Dr. Scott Hurd’s Charitable Memorial Fund and sent to the family at 3275 400th Street, Roland, IA  50236. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of “The Gentle Vet.”  He will be sadly missed.