More than 60 Student AVMA members were in the nation's capital Feb. 1-2 for a front-row
seat to the political process and to learn about effective advocacy.
The AVMA Governmental Relations Division hosted the event, which featured presentations by AVMA Congressional Science Fellows, congressional staff and advisers, and government relations specialists. Rep. Kurt Schrader (pictured top right), a veterinarian representing Oregon's 5th Congressional District, met with the students in the House Committee on Agriculture hearing room.
Students participated in a mock lobbying session (bottom photo) before heading to Capitol Hill to ask their lawmakers to support the Veterinary Services Investment Act. The bipartisan bill would establish a grant program supporting a broad range of efforts to relieve veterinary shortages, including veterinarian and veterinary technician recruitment and retention and continuing education programs.
The students' efforts appeared to be fruitful; four House members the students visited have since signed on to support the legislation, for a total of 54 co-sponsors.