AABP Executive Director Dr. Fred Gingrich is joined by Dr. Bob Smith, Dr. Kathy Bjork and Marlene Azvedo to discuss the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. We start the conversation by describing the VMLRP history and funding. The VMLRP is a nationally competitive opportunity for qualified veterinarians to reduce their educational debt by agreeing to provide professional veterinary services for three years in designated, high priority, veterinary food supply shortage situations throughout the U.S. and its insular areas. Minimum new service contracts are for three years and for up to $75,000 in loan repayments, dispersed in quarterly payments. Successful applicants can also apply for renewal contracts. A fact sheet about the program can be found at this link. Our guests discuss the recently released Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report, which can be found on this page. A total of 130 applications were received and 89 awards executed for an award rate of 64% for new applications and 100% for renewals applications. Total funding for the award was $8,926,394 and an additional $2,592,278 in federal tax funding. The average debt for new awardees was $163,576 and for renewal awards the average debt was $108,813. Cow-calf practice was identified as the species with the most needs in the designated shortage areas. Smith describes the process for state animal health officials (SAHO) to nominate shortage areas in their state and encouraged veterinarians to work with their SAHO to ensure their area is nominated if it qualifies. Our guests also provide information for potential applicants to consider when applying for the next funding cycle. The timeline for the next funding cycle can be found at this link.
For more information, please visit the USDA NIFA VMLRP page.