Dr. Hurd started his veterinary career at a dairy practice in South Central, Pennsylvania. This was one of the first practices in the country to computerize their herd health records and the data collected in this program piqued his interest in epidemiology. As a result, he earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology and economics from Michigan State University in 1990, after graduating from veterinary school at Iowa State in 1982.
Dr. Hurd spent 15 years of his career in government service, working in 3 different branches of the USDA. He served in the Center for Animal Health Monitoring Systems Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health (USDA:APHIS) and the National Animal Disease Center (USDA:ARS) from 1989-2004. Continuing his government service, he was also appointed to Deputy Acting Undersecretary for Food Safety in 2008. There he served as the country’s highest ranking food safety veterinarian and policy advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture. The Office of Food Safety oversees all meat, poultry and egg product inspection in the United States and for all imported product.
In 2004, Dr. Hurd became an Associate Professor at Iowa State University Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, where he remains today. He is the former Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center and the current Director of the Food Risk Modeling and Policy Lab at Iowa State.