Illinois Farm Bureau Program Tackles Vet Shortage


In Illinois, like many other states, there is a shortage of people practicing large animal medicine. According to USDA reports, in 2023, 500 counties across 46 states were deemed as having critical shortages of large animal veterinarians. These reports show in Illinois, these shortages are prevalent in rural areas.

To help encourage more veterinarian students to stay in Illinois to practice large animal medicine, the Illinois Farm Bureau is offering low-interest loans to students through the Illinois Veterinary Education Training (IVET) Program, says Director of Commodity Programs and Food Systems Tasha Bunting.

“The vet students apply during their first year of vet school. Once they are accepted into the program they receive up to $40,000 to help pay for their their training and their education costs, which has helped as we started to see the interest rates jump up in the last few years,” says Bunting. “Then they would commit to serving an area for five years in the state of Illinois- that would be an area that would be servicing a large animal producer or large animal production.”

Applications for the IVET loan program are on the Illinois Farm Bureau’s website and are due by May 15.

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