The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $2.4 million in available funding to relieve veterinarian shortage situations and support veterinary services. Funding is made through NIFA's Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
"Veterinarians play significant roles in assuring animal health and wellbeing, food safety and security, public health, and producer profitability, especially in rural areas of the country where most livestock production occurs," said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. "VSGP supports education and extension activities that will help veterinarians, veterinary students, veterinary technicians, and veterinary technician students gain specialized skills and provide practices with additional resources."
The Veterinary Services Grant Program supports development, implementation, and sustainability of veterinary services to relieve veterinarian shortage situations in the United States and insular areas. Grants will be made available on a competitive basis to:
- Establish or expand accredited veterinary education programs, veterinary residency and fellowship programs, or veterinary internship and externship programs carried out in coordination with accredited colleges of veterinary medicine.
- Provide continuing education and extension, including veterinary telemedicine and other distance-based education, for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and other health professionals needed to strengthen veterinary programs and enhance food safety.
- Cover travel and living expenses of veterinary students, veterinary interns, externs, fellows, and residents, and veterinary technician students attending training programs in food safety or food animal medicine.
Eligible applicants for education, extension and training programs include: state, national, allied or regional veterinary organization or specialty board recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association; college or school of veterinary medicine accredited by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges; university research foundation or veterinary medical foundation; department of veterinary science or department of comparative medicine accredited by the Department of Education; state agricultural experiment station; or state, local or tribal government agency.
Eligible applicants for rural practice enhancement programs include for-profit or nonprofit entities or individuals operating veterinary clinics in rural areas and veterinarian shortage areas as specified in the request for applications.
The deadline for applications is May 19, 2017.
See the request for applications for details.
In 2016, the first year NIFA implemented VSGP, the agency awarded $2.3 million to support rural veterinary services in 11 states. Among them, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners in Opelika, Alabama will offer a two-year intensive training program to help practitioners manage and grow their business. Utah State University will offer workshops, technical training, and mentorship to strengthen the diagnostic skills of early career rural practitioners.