Grants available to support rural veterinary practice

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rural veterinary practictioners

A federal grant program designed to help address rural veterinary shortages is accepting applications for 2021 until mid-April. Applications are due April 16, 2021, for the Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP).

The program, overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), provides grants to develop, implement, and sustain veterinary services and relieve veterinarian shortage situations across the United States. It has two components: 

  • Rural Practice Enhancement Grants support veterinarians who practice in USDA-designated veterinarian shortage areas. These grants can be used for equipment, reasonable overhead expenses of veterinary practices, and mobile veterinary facilities that will also address extension or educational needs.
  • Education, Extension, and Training Grants support training and education for veterinary students, interns, and residents. They also provide funding for veterinary continuing education and extension, accredited veterinary education programs (including faculty recruitment and retention), veterinary residency and fellowship programs, and veterinary internship and externship programs carried out in coordination with accredited veterinary colleges.

Find more information about the grant program on USDA-NIFA’s website.

In 2020, NIFA awarded seven grants for education, extension, and training, and 10 for rural practice enhancement. Since the start of the program, VSGP has awarded grants in 33 different states.

AVMA’s advocacy team is the leading advocate for VSGP and the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, both of which expand veterinary capacity in USDA-designated veterinarian shortage areas.

For more insight into this advocacy work and how you can get involved, check out the rural veterinary care page on, join the AVMA Congressional Advocacy Network, and sign up for the AVMA Advocate newsletter.


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