Kentucky Ag News


USDA Awards Funds to UK to Support Rural Veterinary Services




WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently announced 13 grants to support rural veterinary services and relieve veterinarian shortages in parts of the U.S. and its insular areas. The funding from NIFA’s Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP) is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.


The University of Kentucky was awarded a $250,000 grant for case-based distance learning for food animal veterinarians.


“Rural veterinary practitioners address a variety of unique challenges related to the health and welfare of agricultural animals, public health concerns, and managing their practices,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “This program offers incentives to these types of practitioners, students, and educators, empowering the veterinary workforce with specialized skills to enhance services in the field.”

NIFA’s Veterinary Services Grant Program supports two funding categories: Education, Extension, and Training projects are open to state, national, or regional organizations and institutions of veterinary medicine recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association; and Rural Practice Enhancement projects are open to for-profit or non-profit organizations and practices that wish to operate veterinary clinical services in designated rural veterinarian shortage areas.

Among the 2017 projects, Wisconsin’s Mondovi Veterinary Service will expand services to dairy and beef producers in shortage counties by providing new chutes, and veterinary support staff will facilitate services to beef producers lacking suitable facilities for working cattle. Additionally, faculty at the University of Florida will select eight early-career veterinarians for a three-year training program focused on high quality and advanced aquaculture training for veterinarians practicing in designated rural counties in Florida and neighboring states.

Overall, approximately $2.35 million in grants were awarded as follows:

Education, Extension, and Training:

  • Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, $237,233
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, $225,643
  • University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, $169,304
  • Iowa State Univ. of Science and Technology, Ames, Iowa, $250,000
  • University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, $250,000
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, $240,430
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, $249,966

Rural Practice Enhancement:


  • Downs Veterinary Clinic, Downs, Kansas, $124,794
  • West River Veterinary Clinic, Hettinger, North Dakota, $125,000
  • Agrarian Veterinary Services, Buckingham, Virginia, $118,025
  • Allegheny Equine Veterinary Services, Elkins, West Virginia, $123,426
  • Lodi Veterinary Hospital, Lodi, Wisconsin, $124,996
  • Mondovi Veterinary Service, Mondovi, Wisconsin, $111,919

Project details can be found at the NIFA website.