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Shortage Region VA245

State/Territory
Virginia
Shortage Location - Must Serve
Bedford, Campbell, or Amherst Counties
Shortage Location - May Serve
Location Center
Lynchburg, VA
VSGP Status
Open
VMLRP Status
(Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program)
Open
Priority of shortage
High
Fiscal year
Percent FTE
(Full Time Equivalent, based on a 40hr work week.)
30
Type of Shortage
(Veterinary Practice Area / Discipline / Specialty)
Type II Shortage: Private Practice – Rural Area Food Animal Medicine
Must serve
Beef Cattle
Small Ruminant
Other Must Serve
May serve
Dairy Cattle
Swine
Poultry
Other May Serve
Employer
Position Title
Other disciplinary area
Carry Over
Nominator Name
Charles C. Broaddus, DVM, PhD, DACT
Nominator Title
State Veterinarian
Nominator Org
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Nominator Phone
804-692-0601
Importance/Objectives of Veterinarian
Agriculture is the number one industry in Virginia in terms of production and sales, and poultry and livestock are the largest sectors of the industry. The counties in this veterinary shortage area are largely rural, and there is a need for food animal veterinarians. The need for this nomination was brought to the State Veterinarian's attention by producers in the area, who have identified a need. At the time of the USDA 2017 Agricultural Census, which is the most recent census conducted for the given area, the animal inventories for the counties were 141,522 cattle on 1,537 farms, 1,394 sheep, and 749 pigs. There are currently two known veterinarians providing livestock and poultry service in these counties, and it is critically important to retain them there in providing service to livestock, as without VMLRP, they may focus on small animal practice. A veterinarian filling this shortage area will provide food supply veterinary service and client education to enhance the health and productivity of the herds and flocks within the area. Although there are practicing veterinarians in the area, the large number of agricultural animals in these counties support their designation as a veterinary shortage area.
Veterinarian Medical Activities & Services
The veterinarian will reside within and provide veterinary services for livestock producers in the designated area. The loan repayment recipient may join an existing practice or establish a new practice within the area. The veterinarian for this area is expected to provide production management and emergency veterinary services for livestock producers. The veterinarian will help producers to understand and comply with the requirements of the Veterinary Feed Directive. The veterinarian will assist other outreach agencies to educate livestock producers on antibiotic residue avoidance and steps to minimize the development of antibiotic resistance. The veterinarian will be available to provide producers with compliant certificates of veterinary inspection, veterinary feed directives, and food supply livestock prescriptions. The veterinarian will support local health departments as well as state and federal animal health officials in helping producers to recognize, report, and manage possible public health issues and regulatory livestock diseases. The successful applicant may provide contagious disease diagnostic assistance for non-commercial poultry owners. The veterinarian will serve as a mentor for young farmers, college students, and veterinary students. A successful applicant should provide support and leadership for local agricultural and civic activities.
Historical Efforts of Recruiting/Retaining a Veterinarian
Previous efforts to attract new food supply veterinarians have included the efforts of existing practice owners and previous designations of some of this area as a USDA designated shortage area.
Consequences of Not Securing/Retaining a Veterinarian
Failure to recruit a food supply veterinarian will severely threaten the viability of the local livestock industry, and local livestock producers will suffer from a lack of veterinary advice on preventive medicine, production management techniques, and veterinary care for livestock. Public health will be at an increased risk without a local food supply veterinarian to assist producers and health departments in recognizing and managing zoonotic and emerging diseases and exposure to drug residues. More than one-half of Virginia farms are less than 100 acres and these smaller scale operations normally need more veterinary assistance than larger farms. Without adequate access to food supply veterinary care, local producers will not be able to establish the Veterinary Client Patient Relationships (VCPR) needed to obtain veterinary feed directives or prescriptions for livestock prescription drugs. A VCPR is necessary for producers to obtain certificates of veterinary inspection to comply with the federal Animal Disease Traceability Regulations; not having certificates of veterinary inspection will limit producer's legal access to nearby interstate marketing channels. Inadequate food supply veterinary service may make it impossible for local producers to meet the statutory requirement for adequate care and hinder appropriate animal welfare. Without convenient access to veterinary service, livestock producers in the area may be at a competitive disadvantage when compared to producers with convenient veterinary access. Mixed animal practitioners that cannot successfully recruit and retain associates may discontinue food animal practice for economic and time management reasons. Livestock animal welfare may suffer in the deficient area if veterinary resources are not available to meet the statutory requirement for adequate care of livestock. Without additional veterinary resources, food supply livestock will continue to be under-served in this area.
Community Aspects
Virginia is an exceptionally diverse state, with opportunities for practice and a high quality of life in the tidewater, piedmont, or mountainous areas of the state. There are lovely small towns with a tight-knit sense of community, as well as larger metropolitan areas not too far away that offer all that a city can. From the northern Virginia/Washington DC area, to southwest Virginia mountains, the Shenandoah Valley, the Eastern Shore, the wine country of Central Virginia, and cotton and peanut farms in the Southeast, Virginia is proud of our history and our diversity, making it a rewarding place to live and work.

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