The 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 to develop a plan to produce more professionals in large-animal health.
"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," Gov. 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."
The pilot program would include additional training and specialization for animal health professionals who already have gone through primary training programs, including veterinary school or veterinary technician programs, to prepare those professionals to fill the shortage in the food animal industry. The pilot program could lead to the establishment of a national food animal veterinary institute within the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor.
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