USDA announces $2.4 million in funding to relieve veterinary shortages


Newly approved grant program looks to expand education, training and support in underserved areas.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $2.4 million in available funding to relieve veterinarian shortages, according to a release from the USDA. The funding will help provide education, extension and training as well as support for veterinary practices in designated shortage areas. This funding was authorized by the Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP) in the 2014 Farm Bill.

“These funds support activities for veterinarians and veterinary technicians, helping them gain the specialized skills to address shortages in parts of the country,” says NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy in the release. “Funds are also available for establishing or expanding veterinary practices in underserved rural areas.”

The competitive VSGP grants support activities to develop, implement and sustain veterinary services through education, training, recruitment and retention of veterinarians, veterinary technicians and students of veterinary medicine and veterinary technology. Grants will also be made to establish or expand veterinary practices in rural areas.

The VSGP, authorized by Section 7104 of the 2014 Farm Bill, received a first-time appropriation of $2.5 million in the fiscal year 2016 federal budget. Grant applications are due June 17, 2016. See the request for applications for more information.

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