The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) announced 13 grants Tuesday to support rural veterinary services and relieve rural veterinarian shortages as part of the Veterinary Services Grant Program. These awards – which increase training opportunities and allow existing practices to expand or improve their services – play a vital role in ensuring that ranchers and farmers have access to timely veterinary care for their animals.
The AVMA worked closely with Congress to help secure the funding that made these grants possible. In total, recipients will receive approximately $2.35 million in grants.
This year’s awards will go to six rural veterinary practices and seven universities. The recipients are:
- Auburn University, Auburn, Ala., $237,233
- University of Florida, Gainesville, $225,643
- University of Hawaii, Honolulu, $169,304
- Iowa State Univ. of Science and Technology, Ames, $250,000
- University of Kentucky, Lexington, $250,000
- North Carolina State University, Raleigh, $240,430
- University of Tennessee, Knoxville, $249,966
- Downs Veterinary Clinic, Downs, Kan., $124,794
- West River Veterinary Clinic, Hettinger, N.D., $125,000
- Agrarian Veterinary Services, Buckingham, Va., $118,025
- Allegheny Equine Veterinary Services, Elkins, W.Va., $123,426
- Lodi Veterinary Hospital, Lodi, Wis., $124,996
- Mondovi Veterinary Service, Mondovi, Wis., $111,919
The awards will be used for a wide range of activities supporting rural veterinarians. For instance, the University of Tennessee will use the funding to establish a mentoring program for rural veterinarians to ensure they have resources and support to be successful in their careers. The Downs Veterinary Clinic in Kansas will use its award to purchase mobile equipment so that it can better meet high demand for cattle services in the area – the new equipment is expected to be especially valuable as upcoming retirements will leave the clinic short-staffed. You can read about all program recipients on NIFA’s website.
The Veterinary Services Grant Program is vital to meeting demand for food animal veterinarians across rural America. The AVMA will continue working with Congress to protect and increase funding for this program.
We’re also fighting for additional funding for the related Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, which helps place food animal and public health veterinarians in federally-designated shortage areas through loan repayments. Congress can effectively expand funding for this program by passing the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act. If you’re interested in increasing access to rural veterinary care, you can use our online tools to send a pre-written, editable letter to your lawmakers.