Rural veterinarians to get help with student loans

By Jerry Lackey, Reporter News (Abilene, TX)

The acute shortage of rural large-animal veterinarians across the U.S. finally has reached the panic button at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Secretary Tom Vilsack has extended a helping hand.

The USDA is taking the first step toward implementing a plan to address veterinary shortages throughout rural America by repaying the student loans of qualified veterinarians in return for their services in areas suffering from a lack of veterinarians.

Veterinarians are critical to the national food safety and food security infrastructures, and to the health and well-being of both animals and humans; however, major studies indicate significant and growing shortages of feed supply veterinarians and veterinarians serving in certain other high-priority specialty areas, Vilsack said.

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