Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Shortage Region ID236

Shortage Location
Gooding, Lincoln and Camas County, Idaho
Location Center
Gooding, ID (83330)
VMLRP Status
(Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program)
Priority of shortage
Fiscal year
Percent FTE
(Full Time Equivalent, based on a 40hr work week.)
Type of Shortage
(Veterinary Practice Area / Discipline / Specialty)
Type II Shortage: Private Practice – Rural Area Food Animal Medicine
Must serve
Beef Cattle
VSGP Status
Carry Over
Nominator Name
Scott Leibsle
Nominator Title
State Veterinarian
Nominator Org
Idaho State Dept Agriculture
Nominator Phone
Importance/Objectives of Veterinarian

These three counties (2,118 sq miles) are home to nearly 420,000 total cattle with an even split between dairy and beef (NASS/ISDA 2022). The south central portion of Idaho that includes these 3 counties contains several large calf ranches and many beef producers ranging from large beef feedlots with multiple thousand head to registered beef herds of a few hundred head to a few cattle on a couple acres...of which all badly need veterinary support. Continued expansion of large scale dairies in this region of Idaho (growth of >50,000 dairy head in last 4 years) has overburdened the existing practices to where several have stopped accepting new clients or shifted away from beef practice. In the past 2 years, 5 full-time production vets have either retired or moved away, 3 more are over the age of 60, and at least 2 vets have experienced major illness in the last 2 years and have not yet returned to full practice. Vacancies created by recent retirements have been very difficult to fill and the cost of living skyrocketing in last 2 years in southern Idaho has only further compounded the problem. There are no dedicated beef practices in the shortage area. Beef services are provided primarily by dairy practices/solo practitioners....but are ancillary to dairy services. This nomination is strictly for a beef practitioner that spends the required 20 hours (on average) per week with beef cattle. There will a separate nomination in south-central Idaho for a dairy practitioner.

Veterinarian Medical Activities & Services

This area requires large animal practitioners that will be proficient in:
Routine Beef (cow/calf and feedlot) Herd Health and veterinary medical/surgical services; Cattle Nutrition.
The activities of a veterinarian in this area would include but not be limited to consultation with producers on basic management techniques, animal handling and herd health work including pregnancy testing, bull soundness examinations, brucellosis vaccination, setting up vaccination protocols, and emergency treatment of individual animals (sickness, dystocia, etc.) As this area is predominantly an agriculture based economy, it is vitally important that veterinary services (routine and emergency) remain readily available to all types of livestock producers.

Historical Efforts of Recruiting/Retaining a Veterinarian

Advertisements in professional magazines such as JAVMA and Bovine Practitioner
• Advertisements in State VMA newsletter and website
• Postings on job boards at veterinary meetings & veterinary colleges
• Networking within veterinary community, allied (pharmaceutical) and animal industry personnel
• Contacting veterinary colleges
• Offering externships to veterinary students

Consequences of Not Securing/Retaining a Veterinarian

Idaho’s agriculture industry is estimated to generate $20 billion annually. For a state with a population of only 1.8 million people, agriculture is both directly and indirectly the economic backbone for the majority of Idaho citizens and businesses and especially integral to the local economies, comprising 17% of total economic output and 12.5% GDP. Idaho ranks as the #3 dairy state in the nation (NASS 2021) for cheese and milk production, as well as number of dairy cattle. For overall cattle numbers, Idaho ranks 11 (NASS 2021). Due to the state’s infrastructure, that includes food animal veterinarians, Idaho enjoys a strong export market for beef products ($191 million). Food animal veterinarians are critical to maintain Idaho’s safe and wholesome food supply. Many beef producers in this region, however, are being forced to make due with self-treating their production animals or trailering them long distances to get the care they need, but then may be turned away by practices that have a caseload that is already to big to manage. Their efforts with the livestock industry are integral in preventing disease and early detection in the event of a disease outbreak for areas such as grazing associations. An example would be Idaho's Trich surveillance program, which is especially important in this shortage area due to multiple ranches in northern Nevada (that regularly trade cattle with Idaho) having ongoing problems with Trich. Without the food animal veterinarians in those areas to complete the tests, producer run the risk of letting a Trich positive potentially infect numerous cows in a grazing association. Without the cooperation of federally accredited food animal veterinarians, state and federal regulatory agencies could not maintain a safe and wholesome food supply for the public and for our domestic and international trading partners.

Website Survey CTA Image Desktop

Your feedback is important to us.