WSDA hires new state veterinarian
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) announced this week that Dr. Joe Baker will take over as the new state veterinarian, effective November 3. Dr. Baker, whose career spans nearly forty years, comes to WA from New Mexico where he led NM’s Food Safety, Meat and Poultry Inspection Division, worked as a field veterinarian and served an interim state veterinarian. Dr. Baker is a 1977 graduate of Washington State University, where he completed his undergraduate degree. He also completed an equine reproduction residency at UC-Davis.
Dr. Paul Kohrs, who has been serving as WA’s acting state veterinarian since Dr. Leonard Eldridge’s retirement last year, will return to his role as assistant state veterinarian.
The role of the state veterinarian is to manage WSDA’s Animal Health Program, protect and enhance animal health and well-being, promote the economic vitality of the livestock industry and protect citizens by identifying and limiting exposure to zoonotic disease.