When I wrote my books on pet foods some years ago, Feed Your Pet Right and Pet Food Politics, I was reading a lot about veterinary practice and how it has shifted from large animals to small. The shift is so great that hardly anyone trains to be a farm-animal veterinarian anymore. Almost all students focus on pet dogs and cats.
Among practicing veterinarians,
- 75 % treat pets
- 6% work treat horses
- 8% treat farm animals
The USDA wants to change that, at least a little.
It announced an award program of $4.5 million to pay off the school loans of up to 49 veterinarians who promise to work for three years in rural America where veterinarians are scarce. The maximum award is $75,000, which is expected to cover half the average school-loan debt. Recipients may be required to devote at least 80% of their time to work on food animals.
Sounds like a great opportunity to get terrific experience. I hope lots of recent grads apply.