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Shortage Region NV233

Shortage Location
Southern and Eastern Nevada encompassing Lincoln and Eastern Nye Counties
Location Center
Pioche, 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
Beef Cattle
Small Ruminant
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 these areas must routinely rely on veterinarians practicing out of Utah, California, Colorado, and/or Fallon, Nevada (which has been increasingly difficult to find availability). 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. The addition of a new swine facility in southern Lincoln county has also greatly increased the need for a large animal practitioner able to service the swine industry, in this area. The risk of a wide-spread disease outbreak is a concern, as a result of the lack of veterinarians in the area, and many producers failing to comply with veterinary inspection requirements. This veterinarian would help serve no less than four sheep producers, dozens of beef operations, and one 18,000 head dairy complex and one scrap feeding facility. This position will serve a critical role in aiding state animal health officials to expand the use of RFID in sheep and cattle operations as well.

Veterinarian Medical Activities & Services

This veterinarian will routinely visit Native American tribes, providing services related to zoonotic diseases(s), such as rabies vaccinations. Basic herd health for small ruminants, swine, and beef cattle will also be routine for this position. A small animal component based in Tonapah and/or other nearby community will supplement the practice. This veterinarian will provide 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 potential disease event. Given the recent disease developments in the swine industry, increased attention to swine health and early disease diagnosis is imperative in this region of the state. This veterinarian will provide diagnostic services 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 TB into this area is greater than other areas in the state. With Nevada being an export state, any negative impact in exports will have serious economic impacts on the industry. With an increase in population central Nevada, there has also been in increase in backyard flocks associated with these residents. Major migratory flyways of wildlife cross eastern Nevada. The risk of an undetected outbreak of Avian Influenza or virulent Newcastle Disease is high without regular preventative veterinary care, management, and diagnostics. 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 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 a major component in domestic and wildlife interactions.

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