Thursday, May 11, 2017

Veterinarians Can Apply Now for Loan Repayment Program


Qualified veterinarians who agree to provide veterinary services for livestock in Delaware, Sullivan and St. Lawrence counties can now apply for the 2017 Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program.

The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. It was created to provide incentives for veterinarians to fill the most serious veterinary shortage situations in the U.S. to protect the food supply and preserve animal and public health.

“This program addresses critical veterinary needs in our state and across the nation while providing valuable work experience for many highly skilled doctors,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. 

“It encourages veterinarians to practice in communities that play an important role in maintaining the food supply but that also have limited access to vital animal care," Ball said. "By improving veterinary medicine in these areas, we can ensure our animals are healthier and threats to public health are reduced.”

The program will pay up to $25,000 per year towards qualified educational loans of eligible veterinarians who agree to serve in a National Institute of Food and Agriculture-designated veterinarian shortage area for three years. State Animal Health Officials identify about 185 priority shortage situations across the U.S. each year.

In New York State, Delaware, Sullivan and St. Lawrence counties are considered high-priority shortage areas. A map of all National Institute of Food and Agriculture-designated veterinary shortage situations can be found at .

About $4.2 million will be awarded nationwide to veterinarians serving in public, private or specialty practices in the areas of food animal medicine, public health, epidemiology and food safety.

To be eligible to apply to the program, an applicant must:

** Have a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, or the equivalent, by July 1, 2017, from an eligible college;
** Have a minimum qualifying educational loan debt of $15,000;
** Secure an offer of employment or establish and/or maintain a practice in a National Institute of Food and Agriculture-designated veterinary shortage situation;
** Provide certifications and verifications as defined in the Request for Applications;
** Satisfy any previous obligation for veterinary service to the federal government, state government, or other entity prior to beginning service under the loan repayment program; and
** Not have a federal judgment lien against his/her property arising from federal debt.

Applications for the loan repayment program must be submitted by 5 p.m. Friday, May 26. Veterinarians awarded funding in 2014 and 2015 may submit a renewal application.

More information about the program is available at .

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