Local veterinary practice receives USDA Grant
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), which newly invested $3.2 million in rural animal veterinary medicine across the United States, recently announced 20 Veterinary Service Grants Program (VSGP) Awards, eight Education, Extension and Training (EET) grants, and 12 Rural Practice Enhancement (RPE) grants to help mitigate food animal veterinary service shortages in the United States.
Local veterinary company Apogee Animal Health was selected to received one of 12, $125,000 Veterinary Practice Enhancement grants nationally.
With over 120,000 head of cattle and only 16 veterinarians practicing food animal medicine in Brown, Nemaha and Marshall counties, the USDA considers these counties to be a veterinary shortage region. The 2014 Farm Bill authorized the establishment of the Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP) to incentivize veterinary practices to provide services in veterinary shortage regions.
Apogee plans to use the grant funds to purchase equipment and offset salary to help them achieve four goals: 1) increase client education and strengthen veterinary client relationships; 2) provide additional services that increase the quality of veterinary medicine practiced and help producers be more profitable; 3) increase the safety, efficiency and seasonal workload balance of the practice; and 4) attract future veterinarians to the shortage area. Equipment purchases include a portable x-ray system, hoof trimming chute, portable cattle working facilities, artificial insemination supplies and more.
The goals of the VSGP are to support food animal veterinary medicine through EET funds for accredited schools and organizations and through RPE funds for veterinary clinics that provide services in veterinary shortage situation areas. This program is designed to support education and Extension activities that will enable veterinarians, veterinary students, and veterinary technicians gain specialized food animal skills and practices.
The 2014 Farm Bill authorized the establishment of the VSGP as a companion to the Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) to incentivize service in veterinary shortage situations. Ultimately, VSGP will bolster the capacity of private veterinary practitioners to provide food animal medicine in rural veterinarian shortage locations.