USDA offering financial help to fight veterinarian shortage

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va (WHSV) -- The United States Department of Agriculture is offering more than $6 million in grants and loan repayments in an effort to help fight the shortage of veterinarians across the U.S.

The agency reports a growing need for food supply veterinarians, especially in rural areas. Augusta and Rockingham Counties in Virginia have been designated a "moderate" need area. They say the leading cause of the shortage is the average cost of more than $150,000 of professional vet medical training.

The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program is designed to pay up to $25,000 toward each year of qualified educational loans for eligible veterinarians. You can learn more about that program and find out how to apply here.

In addition, an extra $4.2 million is being offered to repay loans for anyone obtaining a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine by this July. You can find out how to apply for those repayments here.

The Veterinary Services Grant Program is a competitive grant program offered to groups in need of trained veterinarians. Learn more about that here.

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