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USDA-NIFA Grant Supports AASV’s Participant-led, Early Career Swine Veterinarian Development Program

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the awarding of an Education, Extension, and Training grant in the amount of $202,548 to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians. The grant will fund a participant-led, early-career swine veterinarian development program. It is one of 20 Veterinary Service Grants Program (VSGP) Awards intended to help mitigate food animal veterinary service shortages in the United States.

Although swine veterinarians are critical to maintaining a healthy, secure, and safe pork supply, many veterinary colleges in the United States have a limited swine caseload and curriculum. It is therefore difficult for veterinary students to obtain a comprehensive swine medicine education that addresses complex and regional food safety and animal welfare concerns and regulations. Without easily accessible and affordable post-graduate training opportunities, early career swine veterinarians may be predisposed to career burnout and leave food animal practice or the veterinary profession early. The AASV Early Career Committee identified the need for additional non-degree educational coursework and training for swine veterinarians early in their careers and applied for the grant to address the need.

The AASV and the Early Career Committee's goal is to create a practitioner-led, early-career swine veterinarian development program to provide participants with resources needed to encourage and ensure successful, lifelong careers as swine veterinarians and to cultivate new leaders in swine veterinary medicine. AASV will provide information and resources that support early career swine veterinarians, as identified by the program participants. AASV will deliver the coursework and training through educational modules administered to up to 25 AASV-member early-career swine veterinarians who are 1 to 5 years post-graduation, with preference given to current or previous Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Program recipients or those serving in a USDA-NIFA-designated veterinary shortage situation.

This program is expected to directly address veterinary shortage situations by providing non-degree educational coursework and training to veterinarians who provide services to swine in at least 50% of their practice time.

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