Scott Leibsle, who has worked as the Idaho deputy state veterinarian since 2011, has been named to the lead spot following the retirement of Bill Barton.

Celia Gould, director of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, announced the appointment Wednesday.

Leibsle received his veterinary degree from the University of Wisconsin in 2003. He worked in Idaho for the first time in 2005 when he practiced for two years at Sawtooth Equine Service in Bellevue.

 He then returned to Wisconsin to practice large animal medicine, and moved back to Idaho in 2011.

Recently he has played an active role in the oversight of Idaho’s dairy industry, coordination of animal care training for Idaho law enforcement and the development of Idaho’s livestock traceability program.

Leibsle is one of only 55 veterinarians nationwide to be board certified in equine practice, according to the agriculture department.

Barton has worked for the department for 14 years, leading a staff to respond to animal disease events, supporting service to a growing livestock sector and working on behalf of producers to maintain a functional marketplace in Idaho and elsewhere.

Idaho’s state veterinarian also serves as the administrator for the division of animal industries that oversees livestock health, dairies and dairy processors, rangeland services, and other aspects of animal-related agriculture.

Dairy and beef cattle production are Idaho’s largest agricultural sectors, making up more than half of the state’s total farm gate receipts.