Source: Valley News

The revival of small-scale agriculture in Vermont and New Hampshire faces ongoing sustainability challenges, including volatile weather patterns, high land prices, and the need for higher prices for locally produced food. Another significant challenge is the shortage of large-animal veterinarians, a nationwide issue. Fewer Veterinary school graduates opt to work with food animals, as the pay is lower, hours irregular, and the work physically demanding. Moreover, large-animal vets face greater job hazards and need to be available round-the-clock, often traveling long distances to remote farms.

The situation is exacerbated by the average vet school graduate carrying nearly $190,000 in debt. While the USDA offers a loan repayment program for those serving underserved rural areas, it’s insufficient. Legislation in Congress aims to expand these efforts. In addition, private equity firms are buying Veterinary practices, prioritizing profit over large-animal care. However, some individuals like Taylor Hull, a dedicated large-animal vet, choose this path due to a deep connection with farm animals and the opportunity to work closely with both animals and their owners. Such veterinarians are rare and deserve support, as they are crucial to the health and livelihood of rural communities.

Read the full story HERE: