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Shortage Region WY242

Shortage Location - Must Serve
Wyoming, Carbon County or other central location, servicing the entire state of Wyoming
Shortage Location - May Serve
Statewide response as required
Location Center
Carbon County or other centrally located area
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 III Shortage: Public Practice
Other Must Serve
Other May Serve

State of Wyoming, Wyoming Livestock Board

Position Title
Wyoming Assistant State Veterinarian of Field Operations-Statewide
Other disciplinary area

Livestock Disease Control and Elimination

Carry Over
Nominator Name
Hallie Hasel, DVM
Nominator Title
Wyoming State Veterinarian
Nominator Org
Wyoming Livestock Board
Nominator Email
Nominator Phone
Importance/Objectives of Veterinarian
Wyoming's "Cowboy State" identity is married to ranching and agriculture, which contributes more than $1B annually to the state's economy. Ranching is essential to the state; nearly 12K producers utilize two-thirds of the state's landmass for livestock grazing. Wyoming ranks first nationwide in average ranch size. Cattle is the dominant industry, with 1.3M cattle and calves and significant numbers of sheep (365K) and swine (90K). Due to the elevated risk of brucellosis within Wyoming's Brucellosis Designated Surveillance Area, disease surveillance is paramount for Wyoming's livestock producers. The Wyoming Livestock Board is a State of Wyoming executive branch agency that exercises supervision over and protects the livestock interests in the state. Wyoming Livestock Board – Animal Health protects the health of Wyoming livestock by focusing on disease prevention, surveillance, control, eradication, and educational outreach. It implements board rules and regulations, assists in enforcement, and monitors the import of livestock and biological agents into the state. The Assistant State Veterinarian of Field Operations is essential in the prevention, control, and elimination of diseases on the Reportable Disease List across Wyoming, emphasizing brucellosis and trichomoniasis. The position is a traveling veterinary medicine role, with travel of 50% or more for much of the year. In addition to daily duties which include testing, epidemiology, mitigation, producer education and outreach, the position partners with USDA APHIS and NIFA experts to support foreign animal disease investigations, promote animal disease traceability, and manage regulatory and compliance matters. The Assistant State Veterinarian of Field Operations is critical in evaluating and responding to new and ongoing livestock disease cases to prevent and minimize disease impacts on the Wyoming livestock industry.
Veterinarian Medical Activities & Services
The Assistant State Veterinarian of Field Operations provides substantive professional veterinary services for the people of Wyoming. The individual must be willing to travel up to 50% in inclement weather in the performance of practicing veterinary medicine duties. To be successful in the role, the individual will lead statewide efforts to conduct brucellosis risk assessments and develop working herd plans; oversee brucellosis testing, adult brucellosis vaccination, and calfhood booster vaccination in accordance with herd plans by coordinating with practicing veterinarians; conduct public education regarding regulatory diseases, control, and prevention; and inspect approved feedlots for regulatory compliance. Further, the individual will attend livestock auction sales to inspect and monitor compliance with Wyoming brucellosis rules. In addition, an applicant must be willing to perform field investigation, management, and response to brucellosis, trichomoniasis, and other regulated/reportable diseases, including conducting epidemiological investigations on brucellosis and other diseases. They must serve as professional liaisons between the Livestock Board and veterinarians, producers, agriculture/livestock associations, other state, federal, and international agencies, the general public, and members of the Wyoming legislature, attending legislative sessions and board meetings as required to present reports. From the field, they will monitor livestock to ensure animals meet identification requirements and develop, organize, and present educational materials related to livestock disease and prevention. They will investigate animal cruelty and animal care cases when requested by the Livestock Board law enforcement supervisor. Finally, the individual will strengthen Wyoming's identification and traceability program and develop disease control programs, writing specific disease response protocols for diseases and disease categories on Wyoming's reportable disease list.
Historical Efforts of Recruiting/Retaining a Veterinarian
Current Wyoming veterinarians are aging and retiring faster than new veterinarians arrive. Due to the elevated risk of brucellosis within Wyoming's Brucellosis Designated Surveillance Area, cattle herd surveillance is paramount for Wyoming's livestock producers. Recruiting and retaining an Assistant State Veterinarian of Field Operations is challenging due to increased debt and a smaller pool of interested candidates. Wyoming does not have a state-funded student loan repayment program. Competing with states with a loan repayment program is challenging, thus Wyoming's need for VMLRP. Because of our low population, the number of "home-grown" candidates tends to be small. The loan repayment incentive is a substantive motivation Wyoming can utilize to attract veterinarians to the state.
Consequences of Not Securing/Retaining a Veterinarian
The Wyoming Livestock Board must address the need to attract and retain an Assistant State Veterinarian of Field Operations to ensure a safe food supply, specifically for beef and dairy cattle in or transiting Wyoming's Brucellosis Designated Surveillance Area (DSA). Due to the elevated risk of brucellosis within Wyoming's cattle herd, the state tests over 83,000 cattle annually. Without the required testing, surrounding states may be unwilling to accept Wyoming origin cattle. Further, Wyoming's ability to conduct brucellosis tracing in the event of positive test results is critical to the national effort to demonstrate functional animal disease traceability. If unable to achieve traceability, the risk of reduced consumer confidence in beef and dairy products detriments interstate movement of animals. Wyoming Livestock Board-Animal Health consists of an exceptionally small staff, making each individual vacancy challenging to mitigate. The staff positions include only three veterinarians--the State Veterinarian, Assistant State Veterinarian, and Assistant State Veterinarian of Field Operations. Failure to hire or retain any of the individuals results in severe damage to Wyoming's ability to maintain a disease-free food supply. The Assistant State Veterinarian of Field Operations leads several critical efforts, including the statewide brucellosis testing and reimbursement program, the state Reportable Disease List, and epidemiology, mitigation, and producer education functions. The Wyoming Livestock Board is in the process of developing a National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response program, an animal disease traceability program, and recruiting private practitioner input. Our Assistant State Veterinarian of Field Operations is paramount for success of this program, especially with their highly valued, practical input. VMLRP is essential to Wyoming's ability to attract and retain highly qualified individuals for this position, to achieve USDA NIFA's goal to ensure a safe food supply supported by high consumer confidence.
Community Aspects
Carbon County is a centrally located area of Wyoming. Though remote, Carbon County is arguably the finest outdoor recreation area in Wyoming. Nestled between the Snowy Range and Sierra Madre Mountains, Carbon County offers breathtaking natural beauty and outdoor activities year-round. Wildlife in the area include elk, moose, black bear, antelope, and big horn sheep. Running through the county, the 60 miles of North Platte River between the Wyoming and the town of Saratoga is all considered a Blue-Ribbon trout fishery and wild trout fishery. The river has not been stocked since 1979. Carbon County's County seat is the hardworking city of Rawlins, population 8200. Nearby visitor attractions include natural hot springs and fine dining at the Historic Hotel Wolf. Exploring further into Wyoming offers access to majestic Yellowstone National Park, towering Grand Teton National Park, blue ribbon wild trout rivers, national-best elk and antelope hunting, and premier dining and western experience events from Jackson Hole to Cody to Sheridan.

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