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Animal Health

 

Nomination and Designation of Veterinary Shortage Situations

 

Synopsis

On an annual, or as needed, basis NIFA will release a Federal Register (FR) Notice soliciting nominations for veterinary shortage situations from all State  Animal Health Officials (SAHOs; includes chief animal health officials for US insular  areas and D.C.), and appropriate Federal Animal Health Official(s) (FAHOs; for federal lands allocation). The number of nominations permitted per entity (State, Insular Area, DC, or Federal Lands) each solicitation cycle will be capped based on criteria and procedures described in the FR notice. Using online nomination forms and guidance provided by NIFA, SAHOs will prepare nominations corresponding to the highest priority veterinary shortage situations within their entities and then submit completed nomination forms by email to NIFA, by the specified due date.  A review panel composed of Federal and State animal health experts will be convened by NIFA to evaluate the submitted nomination packages.  Following deliberation, the panel will recommend classification of each shortage situation as either “Recommended for designation” or “Not recommended for designation”. Final decisions regarding recommendation status will be made by the NIFA Program Manager, on behalf of the Secretary of Agriculture. Designated shortage situations will be made accessible to the public in list and/or map form, along with information describing the nature of the shortage situation.  A veterinarian interested in applying for a VMLRP award will use information provided in the list and/or maps to identify designated veterinary service shortage situation(s) that he/she is willing and qualified to fill. Prospective applicants for loan repayment awards will follow application procedures described under a separate Federal Register Notice. Loan repayment awards will be made on a competitive basis using a peer-review process evaluating the quality of the match between knowledge, skills, abilities and experience of the applicant relative to 1) the specific needs of the veterinary shortage situation, 2) the criticality of the shortage situation, and 3) available funding.

Shortage Nomination Submission due date: March 10, 2014. Submit by e-mail to vmlrp@nifa.usda.gov.

Outcome of the veterinary shortage nomination and designation process
Following conclusion of the nomination submission and designation process, NIFA will prepare lists and/or map(s) identifying and describing all designated shortage situations. This information will be made public at a NIFA website.  Prospective VMLRP applicants will use this information to select shortage situations they are willing and qualified to fill, and to guide preparation of their applications which will be funded on a competitive basis. The shortage situation nomination, evaluation and designation process thus provides NIFA a means of ensuring that the highest priority veterinary shortage situations in the U.S. are identified, described and made accessible to potential applicants, in accordance with the intent of Congress.  Successful implementation of this nomination process is essential to effective implementation of the second phase of the VMLRP, a request for applications from veterinarians best suited to fill the most critical national veterinary shortage situations.

Veterinary Shortage Nomination Form

Use Form-NIFA 2009-0001 in the following format: MS Word Format (use “Insert” keyboard function to enter text/responses into indicated fields).  Use only ONE form for each nominated shortage situation.

Who may submit nominations?
Authorized respondents for State, District of Columbia, and Insular Area entities include the chief  Animal Health Official for the entity (SAHO; typically the State Veterinarian, or equivalent), or his/her designee, as duly authorized by the chief governing official of the entity (typically the Governor, or equivalent).  The authorized respondent for the Federal Lands entity is the chief  Federal Animal Health Official (FAHO; typically the Deputy Administrator for Veterinary Services, APHIS, or equivalent) or his/her designee, as duly authorized by the Secretary Of Agriculture. While the SAHO (or designee) for each eligible entity are the only individuals authorized to submit nominations, NIFA strongly encourages all SAHOs to involve leading health animal experts in the State in the identification and prioritization of shortage situation nominations.

Guidance specifying veterinary shortage situations eligible for nomination

Section 1415A of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1997 (NARETPA), as amended and revised by Section 7105 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110-246, (FCEA) directs determination of veterinarian shortage situations to consider (1) geographical areas that the Secretary determines have a shortage of veterinarians; and (2) areas of veterinary practice that the Secretary determines have a shortage of veterinarians, such as food animal medicine, public health, epidemiology, and food safety. This section also added that priority should be given to agreements with veterinarians for the practice of food animal medicine in veterinary shortage situations. While the NVMSA (as amended) specifies priority be given to food animal medicine shortage situations, and that consideration also be given to specialty areas such as public health, epidemiology, and food safety, the Act does not identify any areas of veterinary practice as ineligible.  Accordingly, all nominated veterinary shortage situations will be considered eligible for submission.  However, the competitiveness of submitted nominations, upon evaluation by the external review panel convened by NIFA, will reflect the intent of Congress that priority be given to certain types of veterinary service shortage situations. NIFA therefore anticipates that the most competitive nominations will be those directly addressing food supply veterinary medicine shortage situations.

NIFA has adopted definitions of the practice of veterinary medicine and the practice of food supply medicine that are broadly inclusive of the critical roles veterinarians serve in both public practice and private practice situations. Nominations describing either public or private practice veterinary shortage situations will therefore be eligible for submission. However, NIFA interprets that Congressional intent is to give priority to the private practice of food animal medicine. NIFA will seek to achieve a final distribution of approximately 90 percent of nominations (and eventual agreements) that are geographic, private practice, food animal veterinary medicine shortage situations, and approximately 10 percent of nominations that reflect public practice shortage situations.

Description of the three shortage types listed on the form
Type I Shortage – At least 80 Percent time Private Practice Food Supply Veterinary

Medicine: The Type I shortage situation must entail at least an 80 percent time commitment to private practice food supply veterinary medicine. The nominator will specify the minimum percent time (between 80 and 100 percent) a veterinarian must commit in order to satisfactorily fill the specific nominated situation. The shortage situation may be located anywhere (rural or non-rural) so long as the veterinary service shortages to be mitigated are consistent with the definition of “practice of food supply veterinary medicine.”  The minimum 80 percent time commitment is, in part, recognition of the fact that occasionally food animal veterinary practitioners are expected to meet the needs of other veterinary service sectors such as clientele owning companion and exotic animals. Type I nominations are intended to address those shortage situations where the nominator believes a veterinarian can operate profitably committing between 80 and 100 percent time (based on 40 hour/week equaling a full-time equivalent (FTE)) to food animal medicine activities in the designated shortage area, given the client base and other socio-economic factors impacting viability of veterinary practices in the area. This generally corresponds to a shortage area where clients can reasonably be expected to pay for professional veterinary services and where food animal populations are sufficiently dense to support a (or another) veterinarian. The personal residence of the veterinarian (VMLRP awardee) and the address of veterinary practice employing the veterinarian may or may not fall within the geographic bounds of the designated shortage area.

Type II Shortage – At least 30 Percent time Private Practice Food Supply Veterinary Medicine in a Rural Area (see Definitions Section): The shortage situation must be in an area satisfying the definition of “rural area.”  The minimum 30 percent-time (12 hr/wk, based on 40 hr/wk FTE) commitment of an awardee to serve in a rural shortage situation is in recognition of the fact that there may be some remote or economically depressed rural areas in need of food animal veterinary services that are unable to support a practitioner predominately serving the food animal sector, yet the need for food animal veterinary services for an existing, relatively small, proportion of available food animal business is nevertheless great.  The Type II nomination is therefore intended to address those rural shortage situations where the nominator believes there is a critical shortage of food supply veterinary services, and that a veterinarian can operate profitably committing 30 to 100 percent to food animal medicine in the designated rural shortage area.  The nominator will clearly indicate the minimum percent time (between 30 and 100 percent) a veterinarian must commit in order to satisfactorily fill the specific nominated situation.  Under the Type II nomination category, the expectation is that the veterinarian may provide veterinary services to other veterinary sectors (e.g., companion animal clientele) as a means of achieving financial viability. As with Type I nominations, the residence of the veterinarian (VMLRP awardee) and/or the address of veterinary practice employing the veterinarian may or may not fall within the geographic bounds of the designated shortage area.  However, the awardee is required to verify the specified minimum percent time commitment (30 percent to 100 percent) to service within the specified geographic shortage area.

Type III Shortage – At least 49 Percent time Public Practice: This is a broad nomination category comprising many types of specialized veterinary training and employment areas relating to food supply and public health veterinary workforce capacity and capability. These positions are typically located in city, county, State and Federal Government, and institutions of higher education. Examples of positions within the public practice sector include university faculty and staff, veterinary laboratory diagnostician, County Public Health Officer, State Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian, State Epidemiologist, FSIS meat inspector, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Area Veterinarian in Charge (AVIC), and Federal Veterinary Medical Officer (VMO).

Veterinary shortage situations such as those listed above are eligible for consideration under Type III nomination. However, nominators should be aware that Congress has stipulated that the VMLRP must emphasize private food animal practice shortage situations.  Accordingly, NIFA anticipates that loan repayments for the Public Practice sector will be limited to approximately 10 percent of total nominations and available funds.

The minimum time commitment under a Type III shortage nomination is 49 percent.  The nominator must clearly indicate the minimum percent time (between 49 percent and 100 percent) a veterinarian must commit in order to satisfactorily fill the specific nominated situation. NIFA understands that some public practice employment opportunities that are shortage situations may be part-time positions.  For example, a veterinarian pursuing an advanced degree (in a shortage discipline area) on a part-time basis may also be employed by the university for the balance of the veterinarian’s time to provide part-time professional veterinary service(s) such as teaching, clinical service, or laboratory animal care; areas that may or may not also qualify as veterinary shortage situations. The 49 percent minimum therefore provides flexibility to nominators wishing to certify public practice shortage situations that would be ineligible under more stringent minimum percent time requirements.

How many nominations may be submitted by each entity?

In its consideration of fair, transparent and objective approaches to solicitation of shortage area nominations, NIFA evaluated several strategies. After consideration of many factors, the approach selected was to differentially cap the number of nominations per state based on criteria generally predictive of food supply veterinary service need.  See the Solicitation for Veterinarian Shortage Situation Nominations Federal Register Notice for a more detailed explanation of the considerations made in selecting this option.

For FY 2014, the Secretary is specifying the maximum number of nominations per entity (see allocation Tables) in order to 1) assure distribution of designated shortage areas in a manner generally reflective of the differential overall demand for food supply veterinary services in different states, 2) assure the number of shortage situation nominations submitted fosters emphasis on selection by nominators and applicants of the highest priority need areas, and 3) provide practical and proportional limitations of the administrative burden borne by SAHOs preparing nominations, and by panelists serving on the NIFA nominations review panels.

NIFA emphasizes that shortage nomination allocation is set to broadly balance the number of designated shortage situations across states prior to the application and award phases of the VMLRP. Awards will be made based strictly on the peer review panels’ assessment of the quality of the match between the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the applicant and the attributes of the specific shortage situation applied for, thus no state will be given a preference for placement of awardees. Additionally, unless otherwise specified in the shortage nomination form, each designated shortage situation will be limited to one award.

Nominating new shortages, rescinding shortages, and carrying forward nominations to the 2014 VMLRP cycle

All SAHOs will, for the 2014 cycle, have an opportunity to do the following: (1) retain (carry over) designated status for any shortage situation successfully designated in 2013 and not revised, without need for re-evaluation, (2) rescind any nomination officially designated in 2013, and (3) submit new nominations. The total number of new nominations and designated nominations retained (carried over) may not exceed the maximum number of shortages each state is allocated.  An amendment to an existing shortage nomination constitutes a significant change and therefore must be rescinded and resubmitted to NIFA as a new nomination, to be evaluated by the 2014 review panel. The maximum number of nominations (and potential designations) for each state is the same in 2014 as it was in previous years.

The following process is the mechanism by which a SAHO should retain or rescind a designated nomination:  NIFA will initiate the process by publishing a notice in the Federal Register to open the nominating period. If the SAHO wishes to retain (carry over) one or more designated nomination(s), the SAHO shall copy and paste the prior year information (unrevised) into the current year’s nomination form. The SAHO will then email the carry over nomination(s), along with any new nominations, to vmlrp@nifa.usda.gov by the March 10, 2014 deadline. Both new and retained nominations must be submitted on the current Veterinary Shortage Situation Nomination form.

NIFA reserves the right in the future to proportionally adjust the maximum number of designated shortage situations per state to ensure a balance between available funds and the requirement to ensure priority is given to mitigating veterinary shortages corresponding to situations of greatest need.

Guidance for completing nomination form

Location of Veterinary Shortage:  In the space provided, please enter the names of one or more contiguous or adjacent counties, parishes, districts, or other geographic identifiers that approximate the span and extent of the shortage situation. The area identified must constitute a logistically plausible service area a single veterinarian could be expected to cover or serve effectively.  It is not acceptable to indicate an area much larger than a single veterinarian could cover (e.g., an entire state) and indicate that any service area contained anywhere within the larger area is acceptable.

Approximate Center of Service Area or Location of Position:  In the space provided, please enter an address or cross-street that best approximates the center of the service area (for a geographic shortage), or the location of the main office or work address for a public practice and/or specialty practice shortage. For example, if you are nominating a tri-county area as a food animal veterinary service (e.g., Type I or II) shortage situation, a road intersection approximating the center of the tri-county area would constitute a satisfactory physical location for NIFA’s listing and mapping purposes. By contrast, if you are nominating a “veterinary diagnostician” (Type III) as a shortage situation, then you should complete this field by filling in the address of the location where the diagnostician would be employed (e.g., State animal disease diagnostic laboratory).

Note that the address entered into this field is for NIFA’s administrative and mapping purposes only. The personal residence of the veterinarian (VMLRP awardee) and the address of the veterinary practice employing the veterinarian may or may not fall within the geographic bounds of the designated shortage area. VMLRP applicants are given guidance that there is no default requirement to locate their personal or business residence within the designated shortage area, as long as they provide the required services to the shortage area (for example, promoting and providing ambulatory veterinary services to the shortage area).

Overall Priority of Shortage: Congressional intent is for the VMLRP to incentivize applicants to serve in veterinary service shortage areas with the greatest need. Therefore all areas nominated as shortage situations should be classified as at least “moderate priority” shortages.  To assist nomination merit review panelists and award phase peer panelists in scoring shortage nominations and ranking applications from VMLRP applicants, each shortage situation nomination should be characterized as “Moderate Priority”, “High Priority”, or “Critical Priority” shortages.

Please review the Solicitation for Veterinarian Shortage Situation Nominations Federal Register Notice for more detailed explanation of each priority characterization.

Designation of Shortage Type:

IMPORTANT: Select only one shortage type per nomination

Type I Shortage – At least 80 Percent time Private Practice Food Supply Veterinary
Medicine:
See the subsection above entitledDescription of the three shortage types listed on the form” for a more detailed description of this shortage type. Check one or more boxes indicating which specie(s) constitute the veterinary shortage situation. Indicate either “Must Cover” or “May Cover” to stipulate which species a future awardee must be prepared, willing, and committed to provide services for, versus which species an awardee could treat using a minor percentage of their time obligated under a VMLRP contract.

It is critical the nominator understand that an awardee will be expected to meet the minimum percent-time commitment throughout the period of obligated service, including during the first year. Therefore, if it is possible that an awardee may need to develop a client base in an area unaccustomed to using veterinary services, and that sufficient service demand (32 hours per week) may therefore not be achieved for some time, the nominator is advised to consider designating such shortages as Type 2 (30% FTE minimum) rather than Type I.  Failure of an applicant to achieve the minimum percent-time service obligation specified in the VMLRP agreement can place the participant in breach of contract, and subject to significant penalties.

Type II Shortage – At least 30 Percent time Private Practice Food Supply Veterinary Medicine in a Rural Area:  See the subsection above entitledDescription of the three shortage types listed on the form” for a more detailed description of this shortage type. Check one or more boxes indicating which specie(s) constitute the veterinary shortage situation. Indicate either “Must Cover” or “May Cover” to stipulate which species a future awardee must be prepared, willing, and committed to provide services for, versus which species an awardee could treat using a minor percentage of their time obligated under a VMLRP contract. The shortage situation must be in an area satisfying the definition of “rural.”

It is critical the nominator understand that an awardee will be expected to meet the minimum percent-time commitment throughout the period of obligated service, including during the first year. Therefore, if it is possible that an awardee may need to develop a client base in an area unaccustomed to using veterinary services, and that sufficient service demand (12 hours per week) may therefore not be achieved for some time, the nominator is advised to reconsider nominating such a shortage for inclusion in the VMLRP. Failure of an applicant to achieve the minimum percent-time service obligation specified in the VMLRP agreement can place the participant in breach of contract, and subject to significant penalties.

Type III Shortage – At least 49 Percent time Public Practice:  See the subsection above entitledDescription of the three shortage types listed on the form” for a more detailed description of this shortage type. In the spaces provided, identify the “Employer” and “Position Title” and check one or more boxes identifying the specialty/disciplinary area(s) being nominated as a shortage situation. It is critical the nominator understand that an awardee will be expected to meet the minimum percent-time commitment throughout the three-year period of obligated service, including during the first year. If it is possible that an awardee may not be able to meet this minimum service commitment for three contiguous years, the nominator is advised to reconsider nominating such a shortage for inclusion in the VMLRP.  Failure of an applicant to achieve the minimum percent-time service obligation specified in the VMLRP agreement can place the participant in breach of contract, and subject to significant penalties.

General Information

While NIFA anticipates some arguments made in support of a given shortage situation will be qualitative and anecdotal, nominators are strongly encouraged to present and cite verifiable quantitative and qualitative evidentiary information where ever possible. It is recommended that nominators utilize veterinary workforce data available at sites such as the AVMA Food Supply Veterinary Medicine website and agricultural animal census, production and sales data (by state and county) from the USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service website. State Departments of Agriculture, or State colleges and universities may also have validated current information in an internal database or published publicly that could contribute to the case you are making that a specific area qualifies as shortage situation. Finally, because data of the sorts described above are often a few to several years old, once candidate shortage areas are provisionally identified, it would be advisable for your staff to personally contact county officials or other area stakeholders to confirm your tentative assessment that an area continues to be genuinely in need of additional veterinary services.

Importance and Objectives of a veterinarian meeting this shortage situation

Within the allowed word limit the nominator should clearly state overarching and/or specific objectives the State hopes to achieve by placing a veterinarian in the nominated situation.  Include the minimum percent time commitment (within the range of the shortage type selected) the awardee is expected to devote to filling the specific food supply veterinary shortage situation.

Activities of a veterinarian meeting this shortage situation

Within the allowed word limit the nominator should clearly state the principal day-to-day professional activities that would have to be conducted in order to achieve the objectives described for this shortage situation.

Past efforts to recruit and retain a veterinarian in the shortage situation

Within the allowed word limit the nominator should explain any prior efforts to mitigate this veterinary service shortage and prospects for recruiting veterinarian(s) in the future.

Risk of this veterinarian position not being secured or retained

Within the allowed word limit the nominator should explain the consequences of not addressing this veterinary shortage situation.

Specifying a different service time requirement (optional)

Minimum percent FTE service obligated under the VMLRP is specified for each of the three shortage types.  However, the nominator may indicate a greater percent FTE than the specified minimum.  For a Type I shortage, the minimum FTE obligation is 80%, but the nominator may specify up to 100% (40 hours/week).  For a Type II shortage, the minimum FTE obligation is 30%, but the nominator may specify up to 79% (80% or higher should be submitted as a Type I shortage).  For a Type III shortage, the minimum FTE obligation is 49%, but the nominator may specify up to 100%.  If the box is left blank, NIFA will assume the default minimum percent FTE for the specified shortage type.

In assigning a percentage FTE, SAHOs should be cognizant of the impact this has on an eventual awardee. If the percentage is too high for an awardee to achieve, he or she could fall into breach status and owe substantial financial penalties under the program.  Accordingly, NIFA advises that a nomination be submitted only if the SAHO is confident that an awardee can meet the default, or optionally specified, minimum FTE percentage during the three-year service period under the VMLRP.

Affirmation checkboxes

Check both boxes on the last page of the nomination form to provide assurance that you understand the shortage nomination process. The second checkbox is particularly important to help avoid the placement of a VMLRP awardee where veterinary coverage already exists, and where undue competition could lead to insufficient clientele demand to support either the awardee or the veterinary practice originally serving the area.

Preparing and submitting nominations package

New shortage situation nominations plus shortage nominations to be carried over from 2013 (see process above) must be submitted by March 10, 2014 to the Office of Grants and Financial Management; National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA); U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The nominations must be submitted by e-mail to vmlrp@nifa.usda.gov. Also include in the body of the email any change in contact information for the single-point of contact, chief SAHO, with whom the NIFA office should interact regarding VMLRP shortage nominations during the 2014 cycle.  All of your State’s new and retained (carry over) nominations should be sent in a single email.  In the subject line please write “VMLRP shortage nominations – 2014 for <name of your state/entity>.

The sum of new and retained nominations must not exceed the maximum number of shortages allowed for your State or Entity.

NIFA’s veterinary shortage situation nomination review and designation process:

NIFA will convene a panel of food supply veterinary medicine experts from Federal and state agencies, as well as institutions receiving Animal Health and Disease Research Program funds under section 1433 of NARETPA, to review the nominations and make recommendations to the NIFA Program Manager. NIFA explored the possibly of including experts from non-governmental professional organizations and sectors for this process, but under NARETPA section 1409A(e), panelists for the purposes of this process are limited to Federal and State agencies and cooperating state institutions (i.e., NARETPA section 1433 recipients).  NIFA will review the panel recommendations and designate the VMLRP shortage situations. The list of shortage situations will be made available on the VMLRP website at www.nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp.

Review Criteria:  Criteria used by the shortage situation nomination review panel and NIFA for certifying a veterinary shortage situation will be consistent with the information requested in the shortage situations nomination form. NIFA understands that defining the risk landscape associated with shortages of veterinary services throughout a state is a process that may require consideration of many qualitative and quantitative factors. In addition, each shortage situation will be characterized by a different array of subjective and objective supportive information that must be developed into a cogent case identifying, characterizing, and justifying a given geographic or disciplinary area as deficient in certain types of veterinary capacity or service.  To accommodate the uniqueness of each shortage situation, the nomination form provides opportunities to present a case using both supportive metrics and narrative explanations to define and explain the proposed need. At the same time, the elements of the nomination form provide a common structure for the information collection process which will facilitate fair comparison of the relative merits of each nomination by the evaluation panel.

The maximum point value review panelists may award for each elements is as follows:

20 points: Describe the objectives of a veterinarian meeting this shortage situation as well as being located in the community, area, state/insular area, or position requested above.

20 points: Describe the activities of a veterinarian meeting this shortage situation and being located in the community, area, state/insular area, or position requested above.

5 points: Describe any past efforts to recruit and retain a veterinarian in the shortage situation identified above.

35 points: Describe the risk of this veterinarian position not being secured or retained.  Include the risk(s) to the production of a safe and wholesome food supply and to animal, human, and environmental health not only in the community but in the region, state/insular area, nation, and/or international community.

20 points: Overall merit/quality of the case made for each nomination. Prior to the panel being convened, shortage situation nominations will be evaluated and scored according to the established scoring system by a primary reviewer.  When the panel convenes, the primary reviewer will present each nomination orally in summary form.  After each presentation, panelists will have an opportunity, as necessary, to discuss the nomination, with the primary reviewer leading the discussion and recording comments. After the panel discussion is complete, any scoring revisions will be made by and at the discretion of the primary reviewer.  The panel is then polled to recommend, or not recommend, the shortage situation for designation.  Nominations scoring 70 or higher by the primary reviewer (on a scale of 0 to 100), and receiving a simple majority vote in support of designation as a shortage situation will be “recommended for designation as a shortage situation.”  Nominations scoring below 70 by the primary reviewer, and failing to achieve a simple majority vote in support of designation will be “not recommended for designation as a shortage situation.” In the event of a discrepancy between the primary reviewer’s scoring and the panel poll results, the NIFA program manager will be authorized to make the final determination on the nomination’s designation.

Definitions:  For the purpose of implementing the solicitation for veterinary shortage situations, the following definitions are applicable: Act means the National Veterinary Medical Service Act, as amended.

Agency or NIFA means the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Department means the United States Department of Agriculture.
Food animal means the following species: bovine, porcine, ovine/camelid, cervid, poultry, caprine, and any other species as determined by the Secretary.
Food supply veterinary medicine means all aspects of veterinary medicine's involvement in food supply systems, from traditional agricultural production to consumption.
Insular area means the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the Virgin Islands of the United States.
NVMSA means the National Veterinary Medicine Service Act. 
Practice of food supply veterinary medicine includes corporate/private practices devoted to food animal medicine, mixed animal medicine located in a rural area (at least 30 percent of practice devoted to food animal medicine), food safety, epidemiology, public health, animal health, and other practices that contribute to the production of a safe and wholesome food supply.
Practice of veterinary medicine means: To diagnose, treat, correct, change, alleviate, or prevent animal disease, illness, pain, deformity, defect, injury, or other physical, dental, or mental conditions by any method or mode; including: the prescription, dispensing, administration, or application of any drug, medicine, biologic, apparatus, anesthetic, or other therapeutic or diagnostic substance or medical or surgical technique, or the use of complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies, or the use of any manual or mechanical procedure for reproductive management, or the rendering of advice or recommendation by any means including telephonic and other electronic communications with regard to any of the above.
Rural area means any area other than a city or town that has a population of 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to such a city or town.
Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture and any other officer or employee of the Department to whom the authority involved has been delegated.
Service area means geographic area in which the veterinarian will be providing veterinary medical services.
State means any one of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the insular areas of the United States.  Also included are total “Federal Lands”, defined for convenience as a single entity. 
State animal health official means the State veterinarian, or equivalent, who will be responsible for nominating and certifying veterinarian shortage situations within State, insular Area, DC or Federal Lands entities.
Veterinarian means a person who has received a professional veterinary medicine degree from a college of veterinary medicine accredited by the AVMA Council on Education.
Veterinary medicine means all branches and specialties included within the practice of veterinary medicine.
Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program or VMLRP means the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program authorized by the National Veterinary Medical Service Act.
Veterinarian shortage situation means any of the following situations in which the Secretary, in accordance with the process in Subpart A of the Interim Final Rule, determines has a shortage of veterinarians:
(1) Geographical areas that the Secretary determines have a shortage of food supply veterinarians; and
(2) Areas of veterinary practice that the Secretary determines have a shortage of food supply veterinarians, such as food animal medicine, public health, animal health, epidemiology, and food safety.

Review Panelist Information

The VMLRP has an ongoing need for panelists qualified to assist NIFA in both the nomination and award phases of this program. To volunteer for service as a reviewer on VMLRP evaluation panels, please refer to guidance provided in the “Panelist” section of the VMLRP web site.

Contact Information


For further information, contact: VMLRP.

 

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