Dr. Dale Moore serendipitously “met cows and fell in love” in the summer of 1978 on a dairy farm in Custer, Washington, leading to a career dedicated to preventative veterinary medicine for dairy cattle and training veterinarians.

Forty-three years later and quickly approaching retirement on July 6, Moore is being recognized for her accomplishments and contributions.

Moore, Washington State University’s director for veterinary extension, is this year’s recipient of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. The award honors UC Davis alumni whose career reflects exemplary and outstanding performance and achievements.

“Dr. Moore is a tremendous asset to the veterinary profession,” said Dr. Michael Lairmore, dean of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. “She has shown creativity and dedication to improving education and the student experience while advancing bovine health. We are proud to claim her as an alumna.”

Moore has worked at WSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine for 14 years and is credited with re-invigorating WSU’s Spring Conference – a continuing education program for regional veterinarians and veterinary technicians. The program allows those in the field to expand their knowledge long after the DVM and technician curriculums are over and serves as a chance to invite alumni back to campus. Moore started a dairy-veterinarian-focused continuing education program at Penn State in 1991.

“It’s to further their education and validate what they know and provide them with new services they may want to offer,” Moore said. “Sometimes it’s refreshing, sometimes it’s learning something brand new, and sometimes it’s just providing evidence for different practices they might want to incorporate.”

Closeup of Dr. Dale Moore
Dr. Dale Moore

During her time at WSU, Moore explored the benefits of continuing education programs by working closely with veterinarians and farmers.

“How do you know that three-day workshop was meaningful and impactful?” she asked. “That was the really fun part – working with practitioners and providing them new avenues to pursue in their practice.”

Moore’s influence can be seen in many dairy operations.

In 2012, she and her colleagues found that elevating calf hutches with concrete blocks at dairy operations can lower the temperature, stress level and respiratory rate of calves.

“It can get hot in there,” Moore said. “We found that elevating the hutch increases the airflow and can prevent calves from developing heat stress. It’s a simple thing to do to help the calves.”

Moore is also known for crafting calf care audit checklists for farmers to ensure they are using best practices, as well as evaluating different health products for calves.

“I really focused my career on preventing animal health issues in dairy cattle and calves by evaluating and developing tools and programs that would keep animals from getting sick or injured,” she said.

It’s been a long time coming for Moore, who recalls sending out 50 resumes to dairy practices after receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1983 from UC Davis.

She was accepted to just one mixed-animal practice, where she would work with small and large animals.

“That wasn’t my passion, but it was difficult back in the early ‘80s for a woman to become a dairy cow practitioner,” Moore said.

So, Moore went back to UC Davis and received her master’s in preventive veterinary medicine and residency certificate in 1988. Despite finding her career in academia as opposed to her one-time dream, she’s pleased with what she’s accomplished at three land grant universities.

“I just love what I do and always finding new things to work on,” she said. “You know, I tell students if you are bored in veterinary medicine you are doing something wrong because there is always something to learn. One of the things I’ve done is try to look at things that haven’t been done before.”