Regional Centers of Excellence in Food Supply Veterinary Medicine (7 USC 5925i)
We are not graduating enough food supply veterinarians to replace those who retire. The Centers of Excellence will increase the number of DVM students to fill this gap. Five thousand large animal veterinarians are responsible for the health and well-being of 115 million cattle, 12 million sheep, 67 million hogs, 336 million laying hens and 9 billion broilers.
The number of students graduating from veterinary medical colleges who enter food animal practice averages around 50 per year, which is 50-60 percent fewer than the number of replacements needed for the U.S. livestock and poultry industries. More than 750 U.S. counties with more than 10 percent of the U.S. livestock population have no veterinary services.
The Center of Excellence concept maximizes resources by calling upon the expertise at multiple veterinary medical schools, who can contribute specific areas of expertise to a comprehensive training program that can be offered to students from other veterinary medical schools. Through this resource, students would gain appropriate training in food animal medicine with collaborating veterinary medical colleges.
Centers of Excellence would be coordinated between veterinary medical colleges and funded by 5-year, renewable, competitive grants. The goal is to graduate approximately 125 to 150 additional veterinarians each year to meet veterinary medical practice needs, and fill federal and state veterinary medical workforce needs.