The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) recently announced shortage areas for 2015. The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) facilitated a Texas stakeholder working group to identify areas in need of rural vet practitioners. Eight multi-county areas in Texas have been designated as VMLRP shortage situations. This year there is an additional federally-designated shortage for a USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) veterinarian in Canyon, TX. To view the designated Texas shortage situation counties, visit http://nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp-map.
Authorized by the National Veterinary Medical Services Act (NVMSA), the VMLRP helps qualified veterinarians offset a significant portion of debt they incurred while pursuing their veterinary medicine degrees, in return for their service in designated high-priority veterinary shortage situations. If a qualified veterinarian commits to at least three years in providing veterinary services in a designated veterinary shortage area, USDA's National Institute of Food & Agriculture (NIFA) may repay up to $25,000 of their student loan debt per year.
Loan repayment benefits are limited to payments of the principal and interest on government and commercial loans received for the attendance at an accredited college of veterinary medicine resulting in a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or equivalent. All eligible veterinarians, including women, individuals from underrepresented groups, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the loan repayment program. To learn more about how to apply, visit
The VMLRP application cycle is scheduled to open this month, and close in June 2015. A veterinarian may submit only one application per cycle.
For more information contact Danielle Tack; Program Coordinator, Division of Animal Sciences; National Institute of Food and Agriculture; U.S. Department of Agriculture; at 202-401-6802 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. While the TAHC does not administer this program, comments or questions related to the shortage areas may be directed to email@example.com.