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Program Offers Student Loan Payments for New Veterinarians
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/06/2018

New veterinarians are once again being offered financial support if they commit to practicing in one of six shortage areas of Wisconsin. As part of the USDA's Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Program, vets can offset a significant portion of the debt they incurred for their education in return for their service in certain critical and high-priority veterinary shortage areas.

"These are areas of the state where we have identified a shortage of veterinarians working with food animals," said Wisconsin State Veterinarian Dr. Paul McGraw. "Statewide, we need veterinarians to work with government agencies and other organizations that deal with the intersection of animal health and public health. Participants in the program gain a broad range of experience and get a good portion of their student loans repaid."

McGraw says in each area, the veterinarian must serve the needs of beef and dairy cattle and may also require expertise working with swine, poultry and other small ruminants.

Applicants must commit to providing veterinary services in a designated area for at least three years. In exchange, they can receive up to $25,000 per year toward repayment of principal and interest on government and commercial loans received for the attendance at an accredited college of veterinary medicine resulting in a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or the equivalent.

The six areas identified for 2018 include: Eau Claire-Jackson-Trempealeau counties; Barron County; Chippewa County; Dunn County; Adams-Columbia-Green Lake-Marquette counties; and Calumet-Fond du Lac counties.

New veterinarians interested in applying for this opportunity will find background information, requirements and application materials at: https://nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp

The application deadline is March 16.

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