VMLRP Application Deadline Is Approaching Next Week

Veterinarians who are interested in applying to the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) for fiscal 2013 must submit their applications to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) by next Friday, May 31.

The VMLRP helps address shortages in veterinary services by paying up to $25,000 each year for a period of three years toward eligible student loans to applicant veterinarians who are willing to serve in USDA-deemed shortage areas. The secretary of agriculture determines the geographical areas where there are veterinary shortages and specifies the types of practices that are needed, from food animal medicine to public health to epidemiology to food safety. Veterinarians who are willing to practice food animal medicine are typically given priority in the program.

Interested veterinarians are encouraged to apply to the program no later than May 31. The eligibility criteria, application forms and instructions to apply are available on NIFA’s website, along with general information about the program itself.

AVMA supports VMLRP as a means to enhance animal care, ensure food safety and protect public health in areas of the country where there is a demonstrated need for veterinarians with these skills. To that end, AVMA’s Governmental Relations staff continues to support measures in Congress that will make the program tax-exempt, thus allowing more veterinarians to participate without requiring additional appropriations from Congress.

NIFA has made up to $4,000,000 available to support this program for fiscal 2013. In years past, NIFA has issued awards totaling as much as $7,506,000.

For questions about the VMLRP, contact vmlrp@nifa.usda.gov or Gary Sherman, NIFA’s national program leader for veterinary science, at gsherman@nifa.usda.gov.

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