Missouri, Louisiana team up to reverse rural vet shortage
St. Joseph, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry are working together to establish a National Food Animal Veterinary Institute (NFAVI) in Missouri.
Gov. Jay Nixon says it's the first step to addressing the nation's shortage of large-animal veterinarians and veterinary technicians.
"There's an estimated shortage of 1,500 large-animal veterinarians nationwide—professionals who are vital to a reliable food supply, disease control and animal health in this country," Nixon says. "This agreement and grant are helping us move forward to address that shortage in consultation with the best minds in animal health from the academic and business worlds. The Kansas City Animal Health Corridor is the ideal location for launching this landmark approach on an issue of such importance."The agreement centers on a $500,000 grant to Missouri to create a business plan and pilot program for training animal health professionals. The pilot program, to be developed within three years, would offer additional training and specialization for post-graduate animal health professionals.
"We are proud to be involved in this project to ensure an adequate supply of veterinarians for the future needs of animals and agriculture," says Dr. Fenton Lipscomb, president of the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association. "Ensuring that agriculture can meet the needs of supplying food and fiber to future generations is a major requirement of our time."