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Shortage Region WI246

Shortage Location - Must Serve
Eau Claire, Jackson, Trempealeau Counties, WI
Shortage Location - May Serve
Buffalo County
Location Center
Osseo, 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
These three counties have 2107 livestock premises registered in the WI Livestock Premises Registration System, including 311 dairy farms, 12 animal dealers, 17 animal truckers, 2 animal markets, and 134,000 cattle and calves according to agriculture statistics in 2019. It is a high priority to maintain food animal veterinarians to service this livestock industry to assure a safe and wholesome food production system. Some of the animal markets near this region are federally approved livestock facilities and may deal with interstate movement of livestock which requires accredited veterinarians to examine, identify and issue interstate certificates of veterinary inspection. This is required to meet federal traceability rules and state regulations. These food animal veterinarians also play a critical role in performing regulatory testing for TB and brucellosis, along with being the early detectors of potential foreign animal diseases. Land areas: Eau Claire County 645 mi sq; Jackson County 988 mi sq; Trempealeau County 742 mi sq.
Veterinarian Medical Activities & Services
A veterinarian serving this shortage area must be willing to provide ambulatory services for diagnostics, treatment and disease surveillance. A veterinarian in this shortage area would be expected to provide services to dairy and beef cattle, small ruminants, swine, poultry and horses. Regular activities 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 on farm, reproductive exams, obstetrical procedures, and surgical procedures such as displaced abomasum, hernia repair, and laceration repair. A veterinarian in this area may conduct herd testing for bovine tuberculosis, and establish antibiotic use protocols and biosecurity plans. A veterinarian in this area may provide services to local livestock markets, and county and local fairs. A veterinarian practicing in this area will also issue Certificates of Veterinary Inspection for interstate movements. In addition to the practice of veterinary medicine, a veterinarian in this area is an important asset to the community. A veterinarian may provide educational opportunities for local 4H and FFA groups, and may provide seminars for local producers on various topics.
Historical Efforts of Recruiting/Retaining a Veterinarian
Practice owners in this region would like to hire associate veterinarians, but new graduate debt load and other financial constraints are creating challenges. The VMLRP would assist practices with recruitment and retention while a new associate gets established in a community and expands services to the livestock industry. This program would also improve the opportunity for new associates to buy practices helping to assure the long term goal of maintaining practitioners that support the livestock industry in this area.
Consequences of Not Securing/Retaining a Veterinarian
Wisconsin's livestock industry is estimated to be a 50 Billion dollar industry. This industry is integral to the local economies as well as to the health of the state's economy. The state is free of tuberculosis, brucellosis and pseudorabies. Due to the state's infrastructure including food animal veterinarians, Wisconsin enjoys a strong export market for live animals and germ plasm. Veterinarians serving food animals are critical to maintain a safe and wholesome food supply. Their efforts with the livestock industry are integral in preventing disease and early detection in the event of a disease outbreak. Veterinarians are a trusted resource in rural communities throughout the state. They also play in important role in educating youth to develop the next generation of livestock producers. Without the cooperation and assistance of federally accredited and state certified veterinarians, state and federal regulatory agencies could not maintain a safe and wholesome food supply for the public and for our international trading partners. In addition, many emerging diseases are also zoonotic diseases. Veterinarians are needed in the shortage area counties to be the early detectors to identify, report and help control emerging and zoonotic diseases to protect animal and public health.
Community Aspects
Eau Claire County is home to a University of Wisconsin Campus, and is 1.5 hours from Minneapolis/ St. Paul metro area. Eau Claire, Jackson and Trempealeau Counties are also home to many natural and scenic attractions near the Mississippi River. There are many opportunities for outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, kayaking, hunting, fishing, birding, and wildlife watching. The nearby towns and cities also offer opportunities for dining, theater and indoor activities.

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