WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken the first step toward implementing a plan to address veterinary shortages throughout rural America by repaying the student loans of qualified veterinarians in return for their services in areas suffering from a lack of veterinarians.
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) administers the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), which was established in the National Veterinary Medical Services Act of 2003. NIFA issued an interim rule for the program July 9, 2009. Implementation of the program began Jan. 22, 2010 when NIFA released a “Federal Register” notice asking for comments and nominations for shortage situations from the chief animal health official from each state and insular area and appropriate federal animal health officials.
NIFA expects to begin accepting applications from veterinarians wishing to participate in the program April 30, 2010. In return for a commitment of three years of veterinary services in a designated veterinary shortage area, NIFA may repay up to $25,000 of student loan debt per year. Loan repayment benefits are limited to payments of the principal and interest on government and commercial loans received for the attendance at an accredited college of veterinary medicine resulting in a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or the equivalent. NIFA projects applications will be due June 30, and that offers will be made by Sept. 30.
For more information, visit www.nifa.usda.gov.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info