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MADISON – New veterinarians can offset some of the cost of their education by committing to practice food animal medicine in one of six regions of Wisconsin, or in public health statewide under the USDA Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Program.

“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.”

The program requires participants to work in the shortage area for at least three years. In return, they can get up to $25,000 a year toward repaying loans they received to earn their doctoral degrees or equivalent from an accredited veterinary college. Those recipients working in the six shortage regions must work with dairy and beef cattle, and may also need expertise in working with swine, poultry, goats and sheep.

The six regions of the state needing food animal veterinarians are: Eau Claire-Jackson-Trempealeau counties, Barron County, Chippewa County, Dunn County, Adams-Columbia-Green Lake-Marquette counties and Calumet-Fond du Lac counties.

Applications are due March 16.

For detailed information about the program and application materials, go to nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp-applicants.

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