In Memory: Stanley Diesch ‘51

A Siehl Prize Laureate, proud FarmHouser, former Honorary Consul to Uruguay, and 3-time University of Minnesota alumnus, Diesch was a beloved leader and collaborator. Diesch received his Bachelors of Science from what was then called the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Home Economics in 1951. He then received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1956 and his Master of Public Health from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health in 1963.  

In 1984, Diesch joined the list of board-certified professionals in the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine with a subspecialty in epidemiology. In both his private practice and academic work, he carried a heavy load while working to expand agricultural systems around the world. After graduation and a year of general practice in Freeport, Illinois, Diesch owned and conducted a large-animal practice in Winthrop, Iowa, for five years. From 1963-1966 he was an assistant professor and chief epidemiologist at the Institute of Agricultural Medicine at the University of Iowa Medical School. He spent the next 30 years at the University of Minnesota as a professor in the Department of Clinical and Population Sciences and as a joint appointment in the Division of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health. Diesch also served as the Director of International Veterinary Medicine Programs from 1985-1998.

Diesch was one of the very first to document serovars hardjo and grippotyphosa (leptospires that cause abortion in cattle), which led to vaccines to protect cattle and reduce exposure to farmers and agricultural workers, and later to develop the disease surveillance system. Diesch saw the broader perspective in agriculture—the inseparable nature of animal and human health—through the more recently coined “One Health” approach, and was named a Pioneer in One Health by the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. Among his many impressive accomplishments, Diesch was a proud recipient of the Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture.

Read more about Stanley Diesch in his obituary: