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Shortage Region NV231

Shortage Location
Central Nevada encompassing Douglas, Esmerelda, Lyon, Mineral, and Western Nye Counties
Location Center
Tonopah, NV
VSGP Status
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
Small Ruminant
Beef Cattle
May serve
Dairy Cattle
Carry Over
Yes, Yr2
Nominator Name
Julian J. (JJ) Goicoechea, DVM
Nominator Title
State Veterinarian
Nominator Org
Nevada Department of Agriculture
Nominator Email
Nominator Phone
Importance/Objectives of Veterinarian

This position would fill a critical shortage in central Nevada encompassing nearly 23,000 square miles without any resident veterinarians. Producers in theses areas must routinely rely on veterinarians whose primary base location is out of state (Utah, California, Colorado). Highways 95, 6, 378, and 93 are major livestock movement corridors across Nevada and throughout the western states. There are over 60,000 head of beef cattle, 18,000 dairy cattle and over 10,000 head of sheep in this area. A new swine facility (scrap feeding) in Lincoln county has also created a critical need for a large animal practitioner with the ability to practice swine medicine. This has become an even greater focus, considering the current swine disease environment. The risk of a wide-spread disease outbreak is a greater concern as a result of the lack of veterinarians in the area, and many producers are therefore noncompliant with medical inspection requirements. This veterinarian would also help serve several Native American tribes by providing not only veterinary medical services to livestock, but also address a public health need. Continued interaction between sensitive wildlife species and domestic livestock are of great importance in this area as well. This veterinarian will serve no less than four sheep producers, dozens of beef operations, one 18,000 dairy complex and one swine facility.

Veterinarian Medical Activities & Services

This veterinarian will routinely visit Native American tribes, providing services related to zoonotic disease(s) such as rabies (vaccinations). Basic herd health for small ruminants and beef cattle will also be routine for this position. A small animal component based in Tonopah and/or other nearby community will supplement the practice. This veterinarian will provide veterinary medical services to several commuter herds that travel into, and adjacent to, the Greater Yellowstone Area. The necessary testing and surveillance of these herds for TB and Brucellosis is an activity that will protect this area, the state, and the entire region from a disease event. This veterinarian will provide diagnostic service through in-house testing, post-mortem investigations, and sample submissions.

Consequences of Not Securing/Retaining a Veterinarian

With multiple US Highways crossing this area there is an increased risk of not only disease introduction, but rapid dissemination. As outlined above, this area is home to herds that routinely commute to other states including the GYA. The risk of reintroduction of Brucellosis and tuberculosis into this area is greater than other places in the state. With Nevada being an export state, any negative impact on exports will have serious economic impacts. With an increase in population in central Nevada, there is also an increase in backyard flocks of birds associated with this increase in residents. Major migratory flyways of wildlife also cross eastern Nevada. The risk of an undetected outbreak of Avian Influenza or virulent Newcastle Disease is high without regular preventative veterinary care and management. Major highways and travel volume allow easy access to larger population centers, increasing the risks of rapid disease spread if an avian disease outbreak were to occur. Nevada's federally owned lands provide grazing for nearly half a million cattle and one large numbers of sheep. These animals are important to both the cattle and sheep industries in the United States. Having healthy herds is extremely important and required in order to allow for the multiple use mandate on federal lands where interactions with wildlife are possible. Large herds of migrating mule deer, antelope, and elk are present across this area. Protecting public health is also a major component in domestic and wildlife interactions in this area.

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