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Shortage Region UT246

Shortage Location - Must Serve
northern Cache County, UT
Shortage Location - May Serve
Box Elder County, UT
Location Center
90 S 100 W, Richmond, UT 84333
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
Dairy Cattle
Other Must Serve
May serve
Small Ruminant
Other May Serve
Equine, camelids
Position Title
Other disciplinary area
Carry Over
Nominator Name
Amanda Price
Nominator Title
Assistant State Veterinarian
Nominator Org
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food
Nominator Email
Nominator Phone
Importance/Objectives of Veterinarian
Northern Cache County is defined as the area north of 2500 N in North Logan, UT. It also includes the area west of Highway 252. Cache County is rich in dairies, beef cattle, and small ruminants. According to the 2017 census, there are 58,000 cattle, 3,600 small ruminants, and several thousand pigs. It is the top dairy producing county in Utah and is also the home to a large poultry operation. The Utah State University School of Veterinary Medicine is located within the county and will soon go to a four-year program. The veterinarians in Cache County have struggled to find large animal associates to meet the needs of livestock owners within the county. The large mountain ranges on each side of the Cache Valley isolate it from other parts of the state.
Veterinarian Medical Activities & Services
A veterinarian in northern Cache County would be engaged with small dairies, cow/calf producers, and sheep operations, doing ambulatory work. Duties would include pregnancy testing, brucellosis vaccination, dystocias, bull trichomoniasis and fertility testing, ram fertility testing, and writing certificates of veterinary inspection. The veterinarian would provide nutrition and breeding consultation services to producers. This veterinarian is also the eyes and ears for the State Veterinarian for any emerging diseases found in livestock in that area and would help producers meet federal and state program disease and animal disease traceability requirements. This position could also provide general veterinary services for other livestock, horses, and pets.
Historical Efforts of Recruiting/Retaining a Veterinarian
While Utah State University has had a veterinary program for several years, it is not a four-year program yet, so it has been difficult to find Utah veterinarians to return to northern Cache Valley. Because it is not considered a rural county, it has not been nominated for loan repayment programs in the past. The cost of living is higher in Cache County than other, more rural parts of the state, and the salary for mixed animal practice cannot compete with small animal exclusive practices in the same area.
Consequences of Not Securing/Retaining a Veterinarian
Several mixed animal veterinarians in Cache County are nearing retirement and have struggled to find associates to meet the needs of the area. Dairies have higher veterinary needs than cow-calf and small ruminant operations, and the retirement of veterinarians in the county have increased the workload on other practices in the area. Many small producers lack a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship and will be unable to purchase antibiotics under the new FDA guidance. Veterinarians provide consultation, education, and promotion of herd health programs and treatment protocols. Accredited large animal veterinarians are also crucial for implementing regulatory programs in Utah, including trichomoniasis testing of bulls, ensuring compliance with interstate movement requirements, and surveillance for regulatory and foreign animal diseases.
Community Aspects
Cache County is the home of the city of Logan and Utah State University. It has all the benefits of a larger city, while still allowing veterinarians to live and practice in a rural setting. Outdoor recreational opportunities abound, and the university offers cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities.

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