A September 15, 1997, AVMA statement said:
Bayer Animal Health and Hills Pet Nutrition Inc. have pledged major financial commitments to the AVMA over the next few years. AVMA president (1996-1997), Dr. Mary Beth Leininger, told attendees: ‘Tonight, two great companies Hills Pet Nutrition Inc. and Bayer Animal Health are joining with me in making the first public announcement of an unprecedented level of corporate support for our profession and our Association.... Each of the companies has generously pledged to provide the profession and AVMA with ground breaking support over the next three to five years. This historic action on the part of Hills and Bayer will take the form of direct financial support of AVMA-sponsored programs and projects and the allocation of their corporate resources to greatly enhance these efforts. With tonights announcement, Hills and Bayer have gone beyond simple sponsorship. These two companies are showing through this historic and unique commitment an understanding and belief in the important interrelationship between our profession and the entire animal health care industry that we have not seen before.
[Robert Wheeler, chairman and CEO of Hills:] Today I take great pleasure in announcing that Hills will fund AVMA at a level of $1 million over three years. These funds will support the AVMA convention and a myriad of other meetings in disaster relief, animal welfare, educational symposia, and veterinary practice management.
[John Payne of Bayer said:] Thats why I am proud to announce a long-range, five-year financial commitment to the AVMA.
Dr. Leininger summed it up. ‘This is a landmark day for all of us, thanks to Bayer and Hills. (http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/sep97/s091597d.htm, October 26, 2000)