Meet the Team


Project Director, Principle Investigator, and Research Lead

Dr. Plummer is an Associate Professor in the Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine Department and the Veterinary Microbiology and Preventative Medicine Department of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University.  His clinical expertise is in infectious disease and internal medicine of ruminants and he his research interest focus on infectious and zoonotic diseases of livestock.  For the last seven years he has led a research team focused on Bovine Lameness at the ISU CVM.

Jan K. Shearer, DVM MS DACAW

Co-Investigator and Extension Lead

Dr. Shearer has several decades of experience leading an extension effort to train producers on the best approaches to manage lameness in cattle.  He was the developer of the Master Hoof Care Technician (MHCT) program.  Starting in 1996, the MHCP was originally developed for the purpose of providing on-farm training in foot care for dairy health care technicians and hoof trimmers who provide foot care services on Florida dairy farms. However, its scope quickly widened to include training for professional trimmers, veterinarians, and others desiring to know more about foot care in cattle. The basis for the program comes from a strong belief that timely (i.e., daily) foot care and treatment of lame cows is not only important from a welfare perspective, but is also likely to reduce the number of cows lost from irreparable foot disease. To date, participants have come from nearly every state within the United States and more than 20 foreign countries. The MHCP’s ability to communicate the science of foot care and claw trimming to a multicultural audience has had a national and international impact. The program was recognized in 2003 by the US Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (USDA-CSREES; now, USDA-NIFA) with a Certificate of Appreciation for its impact on the industry. Coincident with this event, the MHCP was also awarded the Group Honor Award for Superior Service and Outstanding Innovation in Animal Health by the USDA’s Secretary of Agriculture. As part of this project, we will leverage the twenty year success of the MHCP in foot care, and we will develop additional “organic specific” modules in order to provide a full service resource for bovine lameness on organic dairy operations.

H. Morgan Scott, DVM PhD

Co-investigator and Epidemiology Lead

Dr. Scott is a professor of epidemiology in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University.  His specialty is livestock epidemiology.  Dr. Scott has collaborated with Drs. Shearer and Plummer on previous diary cattle lameness projects and on this project he will assist with data collection and oversee data analysis of the epidemiologic factors associated with lameness on organic dairy operations.

Leslie Shearer, Research Project Management

Leslie has been with Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine since August 2009.  She began her career as a laboratory technician in the College of Medicine’s Department of Anatomy at the University of South Florida.  She eventually relocated to Gainesville, Florida and the University of Florida’s College of Medicine as a research technician in the Department of OB/GYN and Anatomy.  Leslie eventually transferred to the Department of Animal Science at the University of Florida where she became a Senior Biological Scientist and manager of the Reproductive Physiology laboratories and surgery.  She joined the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992 where she became an Extension Program Assistant and Coordinator of the Master Hoof Care Program.  Since joining ISU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, she has served as a coordinator for veterinary extension programs and teaching laboratories on foot care in cattle and small ruminants and on livestock euthanasia.  As Program Manager, Leslie is responsible for administrative support duties, which includes communications, managing program documentation, coordination of conference calls and travel arrangements for the research group and project stakeholders.

Cassie Krebill, Graduate Student and On-farm Evaluator

Cassie is the primary graduate student involved in the project and will be doing the farm visits.  Her undergraduate training was in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University where she studied dairy science with a minor in entrepreneurship.  Cassie milks a small herd of Jerseys at her home in southern Iowa and has hopes of opening an artisanal  on-farm creamery in the future. She worked as the student assistant manager for the lactating herd of cows at the ISU dairy during her undergraduate degree.  Her strong interest in sustainable dairy production and niche marketing combined with her knowledge and experience in the dairy industry make her a perfect match for this project.