Barr and Kober Selected as New Assistant State Veterinarians

Agency: Agriculture and Rural Development

For Immediate Release: June 7, 2018
Contact: Megan Sprague, 517-284-5661,

LANSING—State Veterinarian James Averill, DVM, announced today the selection of Nancy Barr, DVM, and James Kober, DVM, for the two Assistant State Veterinarian positions within the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Animal Industry Division. Barr and Kober were the top candidates for the position after a nationwide search and selection process. The positions were open due to the recent retirement of Nancy Frank, DVM, and the upcoming retirement of Rick Smith, DVM.

“We are excited about the wealth of knowledge, experience, and leadership that Nancy and James will bring to the division,” said Averill. “Together they will move the Animal Industry Division forward in its mission to protect, regulate and promote animal health.”

Barr will lead the ruminant programs (cattle, sheep, goats, and farmed deer) within the division, which includes the Bovine Tuberculosis Program. Barr has more than 21 years of combined veterinary experience. After beginning her career at a small animal clinic, she began working at MDARD as a field veterinarian. Over the past 19 years, she has taken on many responsibilities within the department, such as program manager for the Poultry, Emergency Management, and the Swine Programs. In her most recent role, she was the Acting Field Staff Supervisor of 14 field staff members, including veterinarians and field inspectors.

Barr has a Bachelor of Science in zoology from Michigan State University and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from MSU’s College Veterinary of Medicine.

Kober will lead the non-ruminant programs (cats, dogs, horses, pigs, and aquaculture). He has more than 30 years of experience in the veterinary field. He started at the Bergman Veterinary Medical Center in 1987 with a primary focus on swine. Since then, he has worked for Swine Health Services and Four Star Veterinary Service, which includes a partnership of six swine practices from the states of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. In his most recent role, he was the owner of Swine Veterinary Services of Michigan.

Kober has a Bachelor of Science in animal science from Michigan State University and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine.



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