Veterinary Shortage Areas Designated in Washington state

  |   Professional News

Are you having trouble finding a veterinarian to work on your livestock?  Is your veterinarian getting older and unable to find another veterinarian to provide service in your area? Has your veterinarian retired and closed the doors?  In the last year, the Washington State Veterinarian’s Office has been hearing increasing concerns about a shortage of food animal and livestock veterinarians in our state.

In response, the State Vet’s Office successfully nominated for inclusion four veterinary shortage areas in our state, opening the door for veterinarians to take advantage of both the U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) and the Veterinary Services Grant Program, also a USDA initiative.

The shortage areas identified include Clallam, Adams, Franklin, Douglas, Grant, Lincoln, Asotin, Columbia, Garfield, and Walla Walla counties.

The VMLRP helps qualified veterinarians offset up to $25,000 of student loan debt per year in return for their service in certain high-priority veterinary shortage situations. The shortage area designation also allows veterinary practices to apply for funds to expand service capability and capacity (i.e., obtain new mobile units, purchase ultrasound equipment, etc).

The application period for veterinarians is from February 1, 2022, through April 15, 2022.  More information about both programs can be found at or email the programs at [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.

By Dr. Amber Itle, Washington Interim State Veterinarian


Posted January 14, 2022