Who ya gonna call?

By Susan Aielo • Published: March 4th, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

When looking for qualified veterinarians to protect the nation’s food supply, the question has been increasingly “Who ya gonna call?”

Burdensome student loans, low salaries and concerns about a rural lifestyle have led to a continual decrease in the number of food animal veterinarians, with a three to five percent shortfall predicted in the near future. Currently, less than ten percent of veterinarians in the U.S. work in food animal medicine.

To address this shortfall, the American Veterinary Medical Association has partnered with pharmaceutical companies to fund the Food Animal Veterinary Recruitment and Retention Program. The program provides student grants that pay for a percentage of each year’s educational debt, up to one-hundred-thousand for a four-year degree, in exchange for a commitment to four years in food-animal practice.