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February 01, 2020

USDA awards $2.9M in 2019 to support rural veterinary services

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The Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced in December 2019 that it had awarded 16 grants totaling $2.9 million to support rural veterinary services and relieve shortages of veterinarians in parts of the United States.

Among the recipients, Flyin’ 3 Veterinary Service Inc. in Eureka, Kansas, received a grant to purchase equipment. The practice serves counties in the heart of beef country, said Dr. Kailey Fitzmorris, who owns the practice. She said the grant couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

Before and after photos of Flyin' 3 Veterinary Services Inc.
Flyin’ 3 Veterinary Service Inc. in Eureka, Kansas, was hit by a tornado in June 2018. A grant through the Veterinary Services Grant Program will allow the practice to purchase equipment while finishing renovations. The photo at left shows the cattle pens after the tornado destroyed the barn over them. The photo at right shows the practice in December 2019. (Photos courtesy of Dr. Kailey Fitzmorris)

“We were hit by a tornado in June of 2018, one year after I had purchased the practice,” Dr. Fitzmorris said. “We are currently adding on and rebuilding the practice, so we are reinvesting the clinic income into renovations instead of equipment. The grant has given us the ability to get some much-needed equipment that we would not have been able to get for quite a while.”

The practice will use the grant money to purchase an in-house cattle chute, a portable cattle chute, a practice vehicle with a veterinary box, updated computer software, and blood analysis machines.

The Veterinary Services Grant Program supports two funding categories. Education, Extension, and Training projects are open to universities and state, national, or regional organizations. Rural Practice Enhancement projects are open to for-profit or nonprofit organizations and practices that aim to provide veterinary clinical services in rural areas designated as having a shortage of veterinarians—for example, shortage area CO197 in northeastern Colorado.

The grants are as follows:

Education, Extension, and Training

  • University of Illinois, $236,750, “A multi-audience online educational program for rural practitioners and veterinary students entering rural veterinary practice.”
  • Iowa State University, $236,750, “Telehealth for swine medicine: Tools to support shortage situations, expand surge capacity, and teach students with less biosecurity risk.”
  • Kansas State University, $111,000, “Summer program for aspiring rural Kansas (SPARK) veterinarians.”
  • University of Kentucky, $236,750, “Advanced diagnostic training for food animal veterinarians and veterinary technicians.”
  • University of Missouri, $236,750, “Veterinary education and training in beef cattle reproduction and genomics.”
  • Oklahoma State University, $236,750, “Integrated beef cattle program for veterinarians to enhance practice management and services.”
  • Lincoln Memorial University, $236,750, “Delivering a comprehensive food safety database to support early career veterinarians in rural, large animal practice as an Amazon Alexa skill.”
  • Virginia Tech, $236,750, “Training the veterinary public practitioner.”
  • Food Armor Foundation Inc., $236,750, “Food Armor veterinary student educational and outreach program: Building on-farm antimicrobial stewardship plans.”

Rural Practice Enhancement

  • Cattleman’s Resource Inc., Brush, Colorado, $125,000, “Expanding veterinary care for food and fiber animals in designated rural veterinary shortage region CO197.”
  • Central Veterinary Clinic PC, Sioux Center, Iowa, $125,000, “Iowa 163—Central Veterinary Clinic mobile IVF unit.”
  • Flyin’ 3 Veterinary Service Inc., Eureka, Kansas, $125,000, “This grant is to purchase veterinary equipment to allow for new and more complete services to be added to our under served community.”
  • Solomon Valley Veterinary Hospital PA, Beloit, Kansas, $125,000, “KS196 rural practice enhancement—Solomon Valley Veterinary Hospital.”
  • Betsy the Vet Inc., Hardin, Montana, $125,000, “Grant for equipment to expand service in MT166.”
  • Stillwater Veterinary Clinic PC, Absarokee, Montana, $125,000, “Rural practice enhancement: Addressing veterinary shortage in south-central Montana (MT 176).”
  • Clover Acres Livestock Veterinary Services LLC, Mount Holly, Vermont, $125,000, “Improving access to imaging diagnostics for farm animal veterinary patients in rural southern Vermont.”


Project details are available at jav.ma/2019education and jav.ma/2019practice.