USDA awards $3.2M in 2022 to support rural veterinary services

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture within the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Aug. 31 that it had awarded $3.2 million in grants to support rural veterinary services though the Veterinary Services Grant Program.

The AVMA was instrumental in pushing Congress to create and fund the program, which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. The first grants were announced in 2016.

One of the latest grants provides $250,000 for the educational project “Taking the sting out of honey bee medicine: training and tools for veterinarians to increase access to care for beekeepers” at Michigan State University. The project will create an online course in honeybee medicine for veterinary students and practicing veterinarians, provide hands-on training for veterinary students and practicing veterinarians to learn honeybee handling and diagnostics, and develop an externship program so veterinary students can receive real-world experience in honeybee medicine.

Beekeepers in white protective suit holding bees and beeswax in wooden frame

According to the project summary, “This project has the potential to improve the health and care of an essential food producing animal, reduce the spread of disease to native bee populations, improve the sustainability of beekeeping operations, and provide additional income streams for veterinarians in rural areas who are willing to expand their practices to include beekeeping clients.”

Grants went to another seven educational projects:

  • “Recruitment and support of veterinarians in underserved rural areas of Alabama,” Auburn University.
  • “Participant-led early-career swine veterinarian development program,” American Association of Swine Veterinarians.
  • “Enhanced delivery of bovine production medicine using cloud-based teaching modules,” Iowa State University.
  • “Enhancing rural practice by preparing students, residents, and practicing veterinarians for service in veterinarian shortage situations,” Mississippi State University.
  • “Developing future veterinary technicians for large animal practice in northeast Nebraska,” Northeast Community College, Norfolk, Nebraska.
  • “Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Veterinary Science Certificate Program (VSCP) services grant,” Texas A&M University.
  • “Professional skill bootcamp for recent graduates in production animal medicine,” Texas Tech University.

Grants also went to the following 12 rural practices:

  • Yuma Veterinary Clinic, Yuma, Arizona.
  • Lundgren Veterinary Services, Star, Idaho.
  • Willowcreek Animal Hospital, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
  • Practical Livestock Services, Casey, Iowa.
  • Apogee Animal Health, Sabetha, Kansas.
  • Hanel Veterinary Clinic, Courtland, Kansas.
  • Rohleder Veterinary Service, Hays, Kansas.
  • South Wind Animal Health, Stafford, Kansas.
  • Pioneer Animal Clinic, Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
  • Steptoe Veterinary Services, Ely, Nevada.
  • Grand Coulee Veterinary Clinic, Grand Coulee, Washington.
  • Lewis Mobile Veterinary Services, Jane Lew, West Virginia.

Details about the educational projects are available here, and details about the grants to rural practices are available here.