VMLRP Award Announcement


Food animal veterinarians are critical to maintaining a healthy, secure, and safe food supply. Today, there is a critical shortage of food animal veterinarians in both private and public practice, particularly in rural communities, in the United States and insular areas. Food animal producers rely on veterinarians with expertise in food animal medicine and surgery as well as advanced training in herd health, diagnostic medicine, epidemiology, public health, and food safety. One cause for this shortage is the high cost of professional veterinary medical education. Graduates of veterinary colleges have, on average, student loan debt greater than $150,000. The high cost of veterinary education leads many veterinarians to choose other, more lucrative career paths, such as in small animal practice . 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced today the fiscal year 2021 Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) awards. VMLRP provides up to $75,000 in loan repayment over a three-year period to help eligible veterinarians offset a significant portion of the debt incurred in pursuit of their veterinary medical degrees in return for their service in certain high-priority veterinary shortage situations. Funding is authorized by the National Veterinary Medical Services Act. In 2021, NIFA received 143 applications and made 78 awards totaling $7,558,227 in loan repayments.

For more information about VMLRP please visit the following webpages or email our team with questions.

Application Information

Annual Reports and Statistics

Veterinary Shortage Situation Area Map


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