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Tennessee identifies Large Animal Care Shortage Areas

Veterinarians Can Apply for School Loan Repayment Program

The Tennessee Department of AgricultureNashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has identified four areas of the state that are now eligible for USDA assistance in filling a shortage of large animal veterinary practitioners.

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) will pay up to $25,000 each year towards qualified educational loans of eligible veterinarians who agree to serve in an underserved area for three years.

“Livestock production is a billion dollar industry in this state, and it’s critical that Tennessee farmers have access to quality veterinary services,” said state veterinarian Charles Hatcher. “This program is a great way for veterinarians to not only get financial assistance but to provide a valuable service to the agricultural community.”

Areas eligible for the loan repayment program include Carroll and surrounding counties in West Tennessee; Hawkins, Greene and surrounding counties in East Tennessee; the Upper Cumberland; and, Bedford, Moore and surrounding counties in southern Middle Tennessee.

Criteria such as availability of current veterinary services, the number of veterinarians at or near retirement age and number of livestock operations were used to identify underserved areas in the state.

The deadline to apply for the VMLRP is July 8th. USDA-NIFA will hold two live webinars on May 23rd to provide an in-depth explanation of the application process. For an application and more information about the VMLRP, or visit Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program .

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