Partnership with USDA and Leaders in Animal Health Science will Address the National Shortage of Large-Animal Veterinarians and Technicians
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon joined Cheryl Cook, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development in St. Joseph, Missouri late last month to announce an agreement that is the first step to addressing a nationwide demand for more large-animal veterinarians and veterinary technicians.
The three year cooperative agreement between the Missouri Department of Agriculture and USDA Rural Development includes a $500,000 grant to the state to create a business plan and pilot program for training animal health professionals. The department will bring together many of the top experts in animal health science, both from within the Animal Health Corridor and from other parts of Missouri and other states, to develop a plan to produce more professionals in large-animal health.
“I congratulate the partnership of the National Food Animal Veterinary Institute and look forward to seeing them develop a business plan, establish a pilot project advisory board, design a training plan and identify opportunities for participation in a veterinary fellowship program,” said Cook. “Your dedication and commitment to this program has great potential to address the shortages of large-animal veterinarians for the future.”
“There’s an estimated shortage of 1,500 large-animal veterinarians nationwide — professionals who are vital to a reliable food supply, disease control and animal health in this country,” Governor Nixon said. “This agreement and grant are helping us move forward to address that shortage, in consultation with the best minds in animal health from the academic and business worlds. The Kansas City Animal Health Corridor is the ideal location for launching this landmark approach on an issue of such importance.”
More than 75 people attended the announcement at the Bond Science and Technology Incubator located on the Missouri Western College campus. Dr. Jon Hagler, Missouri Agriculture Director, said the idea began as a scribble on a napkin in February. He said he was excited to see how quickly something can move to fruition with the right leadership.
“The $500,000 investment will reap big dividends in addressing the shortage of large animal veterinarians,” said Missouri Rural Development State Director Janie Dunning. “Missouri Rural Development looks forward in being a key partner during the formation, funding and implementation of this Institute.”
More information is available by reading the Governor’s press release.