The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has awarded three Texas veterinarians Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) funding to help repay a portion of their veterinary school loans in return for serving in areas lacking sufficient veterinary resources. A total of 59 American veterinarians were awarded VMLRP awards this year.
Two veterinarians will be fulfilling the private practice (Type II) shortage needs in Armstrong and Briscoe Counties, as well as Coke, Crockett, Glasscock, Mitchell, Reagan, Sterling, and Upton Counties. A third veterinarian received a renewal award to continue to fulfill the private practice (Type II) shortage needs in Fannin, Grayson, and Lamar Counties.
While the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) does not administer the VMLRP loan, each year the TAHC solicits input from a broad range of stakeholders including veterinarians, veterinary educators, livestock producers, and the public to identify which geographic areas of Texas to nominate for the VMLRP. A total of eight shortage areas in Texas were identified in 2017, of which five were Type II and three were Type III.
In its eighth year of operation, the VMLRP program helps qualified veterinarians repay up to $75,000 of debt incurred while pursuing their veterinary medicine degrees in return for three years of veterinary service in a designated veterinary shortage area. Participants are required to serve in one of the three types of shortage situations.
- Type I: Private practices dedicated to food supply veterinary medicine at least 80 percent of the time.
- Type II: Private practices in rural areas dedicated to food supply veterinary medicine at least 30 percent of the time.
- Type III: Dedicated to public practice at least 49 percent of the time.
For more information contact the VMLRP via email at [email protected]. Comments or questions related to the designated shortage areas may be directed to [email protected].
Source: Texas Animal Health Commission