Needs of food animal sector to be assessed

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The Executive Board has approved the promotion of efforts through the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues, interested food animal species organizations, and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges to conduct a food animal veterinary economic needs assessment.

The shortage of food animal veterinarians was a topic of extensive discussion in February by the AVMA Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee. Subsequently, the committee recommended that the board support the plan developed by the Food Animal Summit Task Force for a manpower study.

Food animal veterinary organizations—AABP, AASV, AASRP, and possibly others—agreed to commit funds up to $20,000 to initiate the study. Task force members want the study to address factors that attract students to food supply veterinary medicine, how to recruit them and maintain their interest while in school, factors that affect their employment choices, and how to retain recent graduates.

The AVMA has not been approached for financial support but may be asked later to partially subsidize the study, as well as support an NCVEI benchmarking module for mixed practice.