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Strain helps create national food animal veterinary institute

November 9, 2010

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said Louisiana will partner with national animal health science leaders to create and develop a plan to train more large animal veterinarians.
The LDAF has teamed with the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) to create a food animal pilot training program to provide advanced training to animal health professionals.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced the $500,000 USDA Rural Development Program grant funding for the program Oct. 29 at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri.
"Rural America is facing a critical shortage in food animal veterinary care," Strain said. "There are many areas in Louisiana and the country that are underserved when it comes to food animal veterinarians. This program will begin the process of addressing America’s food animal veterinarian needs."
The program will provide additional training and specialization for animal health professionals who already have gone through primary training programs, including veterinary school or veterinary technician programs.
It is hoped that the pilot program will lead to the establishment of a national food animal veterinary institute.
Strain said an additional 1,500 large animal veterinarians are needed to address the shortage.
“Large animal veterinarians are vital to a reliable food supply, disease control and animal health,” Strain said.
Strain and Missouri Director of Agriculture Jon Hagler developed the concept for a national food animal veterinary institute at the February meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
Strain said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Carrie Castille coordinated the project between the Louisiana and Missouri agriculture departments.