SFN News: AVMA Seeks Funding to Alleviate Veterinarian Shortage

Last week, the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced that 187 regions in the United States currently suffer from shortages of livestock and public health veterinarians. Six of those regions are in North Carolina with another three in South Carolina. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) believes that student debt is partly to blame for the shortage. Student debt is making it difficult for young veterinarians to work in rural areas where salaries are typically lower. There is a program that helps alleviate that burden and the AVMA is urging Congress to expand it. It’s called the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program; however, it does not currently receive enough funding to meet the demand.

Dr. Jim Weisman, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Clinical Associate Professor at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, says he talks with students who qualify for the program and encourages them to apply…

Weisman believes that the shortage may also stem from a student’s upbringing, saying that those who come from strong animal agriculture backgrounds will often want to return to that type of practice…

Weisman also says that there is not a shortage of those enrolling in the school as they had over 1200 applicants for 84 spots in the class of 2022. But the question remains, which area of veterinary practice will those 84, and others who come after, choose.


The trucking industry reacts to presidential proposals to improve infrastructure. Jim Taylor reports…


Several NC cotton business people have been named to policy making positions. During its recent annual meeting, the National Cotton Growers Association Wes Morgan, of New London as its first vice president. In addition, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue announced appointments to The Cotton Board, including three from North Carolina. Chuck Ward, importer from Hickory, and David Dunlow, producer from Roanoke Rapids, were named as Cotton Board members. Silas Smith, a producer from Rocky Mount, was appointed as an alternate.

Each of these appointees will serve 3-year terms. The Cotton Board is made up of cotton producers and importers appointed to oversee the Cotton Research & Promotion Program.


If you haven’t bought that box of chocolate for your significant other this Valentine’s Day, you can still find some great values. But don’t expect much of your purchase to go to the sugar farmers who made the sweet treats possible.

The American Sugar Alliance reports that sugar producers see just 2 cents from a $7.99 heart-shaped box of chocolates. ASA looked at other popular Valentine’s Day candies at a local store, and the results were equally as heartbreaking for farmers. Chocolate kisses, which sold for $1.99, contained only 1 penny’s worth of sugar, while sugar accounted for 4 cents of a $9.99 assorted truffle offering.