USDA'S Veterinary Corps Participates in Obama Administration’s ‘United We Serve' Initiative

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that through the Obama Administration's 'United We Serve' initiative, veterinarians, veterinary technicians and veterinary students can participate in the National Animal Health Emergency Response Corps (NAHERC). NAHERC, a program of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), ensures that critical veterinary staffing needs are met during the response to exotic disease outbreaks and other disasters which affect livestock, poultry, companion animals, and wildlife.

"President Obama's 'United We Serve' initiative challenges us to build a better future for America by engaging in volunteerism," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "USDA's veterinary response corps will allow those in veterinary medicine to assist their country and have a real impact on our communities during an animal disease outbreak or emergency."

The purpose of the 'United We Serve' initiative is to incorporate volunteerism and community service activities into the lives of all Americans in order to strengthen the nation's foundation of service, one community at a time. The 'United We Serve' summer initiative began on June 22 and runs through the National Day of Remembrance Service on September 11.

The President's call to participate in this program focuses on four key areas where everyone can have a continuing impact in their community: education, health, energy and the environment and community renewal. All Americans can create new service projects, find service projects in their communities and share stories about projects that are making a difference by visiting www.serve.gov .

More volunteers are needed to assure a decisive response to any potential animal health crises. For more information on NAHERC, please visit www.aphis.usda.gov or email at EmergencyVMO@aphis.usda.gov.

Source: USDA, August 11, 2009