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Shortage Region WI245

Shortage Location - Must Serve
Clark County, WI
Shortage Location - May Serve
Marathon and Wood Counties, WI
Location Center
Loyal, WI
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 I Shortage: Private Practice Food Animal Medicine
Must serve
Beef Cattle
Dairy Cattle
Other Must Serve
May serve
Small Ruminant
Other May Serve
equine, cervids
Position Title
Other disciplinary area
Carry Over
Nominator Name
Darlene M. Konkle
Nominator Title
State Veterinarian
Nominator Org
Nominator Phone
Importance/Objectives of Veterinarian
Clark County in North Central Wisconsin is the second highest milk producing county in the state, with 1.6 billion pounds produced annually according to the Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics Service (WASS). There are 67,000 dairy cows in 666 herds in Clark County according to WASS. There is also a significant population of goats in the county, with 270, 000 goats on 89 farms (WASS). Wisconsin is the number one producer of goat milk in the US. The surrounding counties of Marathon and Wood also have high cattle and goat populations, with 79,000 dairy cattle in 500 herds, and 27,000 goats in 83 herds. The area also contains beef herds as well as other small ruminants, swine and horses, with over 5000 livestock premises registered. The area is diverse with respect to production types, ranging from large commercial dairy herds to smaller farms. There are also a large number of Amish and Mennonite farms in the area. Several veterinarians in the area have retired recently, and several more are planning to retire. Area clinics have reduced large animal services and emergency services. A veterinarian serving this area will provide necessary food animal services in an area with decreasing veterinary coverage.
Veterinarian Medical Activities & Services
A veterinarian serving this shortage area must be willing to provide ambulatory, and potentially in-clinic services for diagnostics, treatment and disease surveillance. A veterinarian in this shortage area would be expected to provide services to dairy cattle, beef cattle and small ruminants. A veterinarian would also likely see swine, poultry and horses. Services provided include, but are not limited to: herd health maintenance, (vaccinations, nutrition analysis, cow comfort and calf health), diagnostic workups and treatment of herd health issues such as gastrointestinal and respiratory issues, reproductive exams, obstetrical procedures, and surgical procedures such as displaced abomasum, hernia repair, and laceration repair. A veterinarian in this area would expect to complete a state certification program to conduct herd testing for bovine tuberculosis. Veterinary oversight would also be important in establishing antibiotic use protocols and biosecurity plans for various types of operations. A veterinarian practicing in this area will issue Certificates of Veterinary Inspection for interstate movements. A veterinarian in this area may also provide services to local livestock markets, and county and local fairs. In addition to the practice of veterinary medicine, a veterinarian in this area would be an important asset to the community by providing educational opportunities for local 4H and FFA groups, and seminars for local producers on various topics including husbandry and preventive medicine.
Historical Efforts of Recruiting/Retaining a Veterinarian
Recruitment of veterinarians to this area has become more difficult in recent years, due to reduced practice size and scope. Veterinarians in the area report difficulty in recruiting and retaining new hires due to competition for higher salaries in companion animal practices, and mixed practices in other areas of the state.
Consequences of Not Securing/Retaining a Veterinarian
The livestock premises in this shortage area are diverse, and they represent a significant source of food to the people of Wisconsin, the US and internationally. Access to veterinary care is critical to ensure the health and well being of these animals, and to ensure a safe and wholesome food supply. Veterinary oversight is also necessary to keep Wisconsin free of diseases such as bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis and pseudorabies, maintaining markets for livestock and products. Veterinarians are critical in providing appropriate medical care, and in reducing inappropriate and ineffective use of antimicrobials. With the increasing worldwide incidence of high consequence diseases such as highly pathogenic avian influenza, African Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth Disease, it is critical for all food animals to have access to high quality veterinary care to prevent and rapidly respond to these diseases. Lastly, many emerging pathogens are zoonotic. It is imperative for this area to retain veterinary services not only to protect animal health, but to protect human health and ecosystem health as well.
Community Aspects
Clark County and the surrounding counties are located in North Central Wisconsin, which is known for natural beauty and friendly people. There are many small communities with great schools, shops and cafes. Clark County is home to many varieties of famous Wisconsin cheese, including cheddar, colby and swiss. There are many historical landmarks to visit, and a variety of outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, canoeing, hiking, biking, skiing and snowmobiling. A veterinarian in this area would become part of a vibrant community, with opportunities for volunteering and service, as well as education and entertainment.

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