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Veterinarian Shortage Situations

This page describes the relationship between veterinarian shortage situations designated by the Veterinary Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) and the Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP). 

The purpose of VSGP is to relieve veterinarian shortage situations and support veterinary practices in the U.S.  Eligible applicants for the Rural Practice Enhancement program area within VSGP include for-profit and nonprofit entities that, and individuals who, operate clinics providing veterinary services. These applicants must provide those services in a veterinarian shortage situation AND that location must be located a rural area, as defined in Section 343(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)).

Veterinary Services Shortage Situations Map

Each year, NIFA designates veterinarian shortage situations through the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP). VSGP Rural Practice Enhancement applicants may propose to provide services in VMLRP-designated veterinary shortage situations designated for the current FY.  Shortage situations, along with a map and related information, can be found on the VMLRP Shortage Situations webpage.  

Certain veterinary shortage situations identified by VMLRP in FYs prior to the current FY may be also available to VSGP applicants. Please read the VSGP Request for Applications (RFA) to determine the complete list of shortage situations available. To view the map from previous fiscal years, go to the VMLRP Shortage Situations webpage and use the FY filter and select the year of interest. You can also filter by “Any” to see all states that have had a veterinary shortage situation then filter by state to find an area of interest.

NOTE regarding the definition of rural:

  • By definition, all VMLRP type II veterinarian shortage situations are rural. 
  • Other veterinary shortage areas may be considered rural if they meet the definition in Section 343(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)). For these areas, it is the applicant's responsibility to demonstrate compliance with this definition. Refer to the USDA-Rural Development’s Business Program’s Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) which provides a map to assess “rural” eligibility at the USDA Income and Property Eligibility Site. Select business programs under Property Eligibility on the left, then click on the link for RCDI, accept the disclaimer and zoom into the area of interest.  


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Animal health and production and animal products

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