Department of Agriculture names new state veterinarian

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture announced the promotion of Dr. John G. Nilz as the new state veterinarian yesterday.

“Dr. Nilz brings a wealth of experience from a wide variety of professional capacities that serves Arkansas’ animal agriculture sector well,” said Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture. “He has proven to be a valuable part of the Department of Agriculture’s team and we look forward to working with him in this new capacity.”

Nilz has served as the field veterinarian for the Department since July 2020. A native of Clark County, Nilz earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and entered the profession as a large animal practitioner serving the private, corporate and regulatory sectors. He also has experience in small animal medicine and surgery, teaching, and emergency response and management. 

“It is an honor to be selected to serve as the state veterinarian for the Department,” Nilz said. “I am committed to applying my time and talents to all facets of Arkansas’s animal industries.”

The role of the state veterinarian is to assist the Department’s Livestock and Poultry Division in fulfilling its mission to safeguard human and animal health, assure food safety and quality, and promote Arkansas’ livestock and poultry industries for the benefit of the state’s citizens. As state veterinarian, he will work closely with the livestock and poultry industries, licensed veterinarians, and the public regarding animal health issues and will serve as co-chair of the Arkansas One Health Committee whose purpose is to promote cohesion between agencies responsible for human, wildlife, and domestic-animal health.