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Agriculture Today

Vet loan deadline Feb. 15

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February 6, 2013 | 4,207 views | Post a comment

AUSTIN -- The Texas Animal Health Commission is accepting nominations until Friday, Feb. 15, for areas of the state experiencing a specific need for veterinarians to work in the areas of food animal medicine, rural private practice, or public practice. The Texas Animal Health Commission will forward nominations for selected areas to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for inclusion in the national Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program for the 2013 award cycle.

The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program will pay up to $25,000 per year for three years toward qualified educational loans for eligible veterinarians who agree to serve in a designated shortage area. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture has specific criteria for nominated areas and the state will not be able to forward a nomination unless all of these criteria have been met. Individual nominations may also be edited or combined with others from nearby communities by the Texas Animal Health Commission when appropriate.

Specific details on livestock populations, changing industry demographics, gaps in specific veterinary services currently available, community support, and future outlook for veterinary services (such as sole practitioners retiring or trying to sell a practice) are all valuable criteria in defining the need in a specific area. The USDA program focuses on three types of veterinary practice and will accept nominations in each category:

•Type I -- Shortage situations involve need for a veterinarian to spend at least 80 percent of time working on food animal species in a private practice setting.

•Type II -- Shortages involve need for a veterinarian to spend at least 30 percent of time working on food animal species, and providing veterinary services in a rural (remote or economically depressed) area in a private practice setting.

•Type III -- Shortage is defined as public practice, including work in public health, laboratory, local or state government veterinary work, meat inspection, or epidemiology.

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