WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 14, 2023) – Farm Journal Foundation is receiving its second year of grant funding from the Zoetis Foundation to address the nationwide shortage of food animal veterinarians in rural areas.
With grant support from the Zoetis Foundation, Farm Journal Foundation will expand its Veterinarian Ambassador program established in 2022 and develop a Rural Veterinary Framework to support pre-veterinary medicine undergraduate students, veterinary college students, and early career veterinary professionals.
“Addressing the systemic challenges that face the veterinary community is critical to sustaining a thriving veterinary profession and advancing care for animals,” says Jeannette Ferran Astorga, President of the Zoetis Foundation and Chief Sustainability Officer at Zoetis. “We’re proud to support Farm Journal Foundation’s work to help address the need for veterinarians in rural areas, provide debt relief solutions for veterinary students, and inspire the next generation of animal health professionals.”
In 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that at least 500 counties across 46 states report critical shortages of veterinary care services that are vital to ensuring livestock and poultry are healthy and productive. High levels of student debt associated with studying veterinary medicine can turn young professionals towards urban and suburban settings where there is the perception of more lucrative opportunities. Young professionals also face various challenges to starting their careers in rural settings, ranging from community integration to business development.
“When communities don’t have access to veterinary care, farmers' livelihoods and animal health are at risk, as well as the food supply,” said Tricia Beal, Chief Executive Officer of Farm Journal Foundation. “We are excited to continue our work with the Zoetis Foundation to address the national shortage of rural veterinarians.”
This next stage of the grant work will involve creating a Rural Veterinary Framework through engaging stakeholders such as students, undergraduate programs, colleges of veterinary medicine, practitioners, trade associations, and industry leaders. Alongside educational programming, Farm Journal Foundation will use this engagement to support students and new veterinarians. Through the grant funding support of the Zoetis Foundation, Farm Journal Foundation will also continue to activate its Veterinary Ambassador program and educate stakeholders about policy issues as part of the overall solution to the rural veterinarian shortage.
Whitney McFerron, Communications Director
Farm Journal Foundation
About Farm Journal Foundation
Farm Journal Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to achieving global food security by sustaining modern agriculture’s leadership role and ability to meet the vital needs of a growing population. The organization works to advance this mission through key issue areas, including global food and nutrition security, agricultural research and innovation, rural development, and conservation and sustainability. To learn more, visit www.farmjournalfoundation.org.
About the Zoetis Foundation
The Zoetis Foundation supports communities and the people who care for animals, with a specific focus on advancing opportunities for veterinarians and farmers around the world. The Foundation’s grantmaking and strategic efforts provide access to education and mental wellness resources, expand veterinary debt relief, support diversity and inclusion efforts, and enable thriving livelihoods by funding programs that help veterinary practices and farmers adopt sustainable business practices. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit: www.zoetisfoundation.org.