Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $2.4 million in grants to go towards recruitment, training and retention programs for veterinary services. The veterinary industry has seen increased shortages in both medical and technology services across the country, particularly in our more rural areas.
Congressmen Kurt Schrader (OR-5) and Ted Yoho (FL-3), co-chairs of the bipartisan Veterinary Medicine Caucus, praised this announcement. Rep. Schrader explained the necessity of increased funding, saying “our rural areas have been struggling to retain and attract new veterinarians in their communities which is especially damaging to our livestock industry and for food safety in this country. This isn’t just about providing easier access to medical services for the family pets; this is about supporting and maintaining an entire industry that is a backbone of our rural economy.”
“A majority of Americans don’t fully realize the important role that veterinarians play in the biosecurity of the nation,” Rep. Yoho said. “Following the GAO report that both Rep. Schrader and I requested, the need for more veterinarians is well known. This funding announced by USDA will give a much needed boost to the ranks of veterinary medicine.”
Mark T. Lutschaunig, VMD MBA, Director of the Governmental Relations Division at the American Veterinary Medical Association said that the “new program has the potential to enhance current and new veterinary practices all across America. It will also directly increase education and training opportunities for students, and food supply and public health veterinarians who provide a full array of veterinary services to our country’s livestock producers.”
For more information on the USDA’s program, please visit their website at: https://nifa.usda.gov/program/veterinary-services-grant-program.