Source: The Hill

Veterinarians have a crucial role in safeguarding the domestic and global food supply and ensuring the health and welfare of farm animals. However, rural communities face shortages of these veterinarians, endangering food security and animal welfare. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has seen a rise in shortage areas, reaching 240 in 47 states in 2024. High educational debt discourages veterinarians from pursuing careers in food animal and public health, exacerbating the shortage.

The Rural Veterinary Workforce Act aims to address this issue by eliminating federal taxation on the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), incentivizing veterinarians to serve in underserved areas. This bipartisan effort seeks to enhance the VMLRP’s effectiveness, ensuring more veterinarians can address rural Veterinary shortages and maintain food safety nationwide. Dr. Rena Carlson, alongside Rep. Adrian Smith and Rep. John Larson, advocates for legislative action to bolster the rural Veterinary workforce and uphold animal and public health standards.

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