NIFA Awards Nearly $10 Million to Address Veterinary Shortages

NIFA is distributing $10 million to address shortages in food supply veterinary medicine through two programs: the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) and the Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP). VMLRP awarded $7.1 million to 74 veterinarians working in designated shortage areas to offset their educational loans. The program incentivizes veterinarians to practice in rural communities where their services are desperately needed. This year's awardees will fill shortage areas in 30 jurisdictions (e.g. states, territories), the most in the nine-year history of the program. The National Veterinary Medicine Service Act helps qualified veterinarians offset up to $75,000 of the debt incurred in pursuit of their veterinary medicine degrees in return for three years of service in certain high-priority areas. VSGP granted $2.5 million in to qualified entities (e.g., academic institutions, veterinary practices) to support activities and programs to relieve veterinary shortage situations. Veterinarians are critical to America's food safety and security, as well as to the health and well-being of both animals and humans. [Source: NIFA Update, November 21, 2018]