Senator Announces Grants to Six Montana Veterinarians Totaling more than $552,000

 (Washington, D.C.) – Montana’s senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus announced today that the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded six grants – the most of any state – to help Montana veterinarians practice in underserved rural areas.  The Montana awards given out through USDA’s Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) total more than $552,000.

 “Vets are an important part of our rural ranching communities. These grants will ensure that rural communities have needed services and make sure that our ranchers have access to top-notch vets,” Baucus said. “This is a smart investment in rural America.”

 Through these grants, Montana will be able to fill critical positions in all six regional shortage areas including:

 Central Montana – Lewiston

  • North Central Montana – Havre
  • Northeast Montana
  • South Central Montana – Billings
  • South East Montana – Miles City
  • Southwest Corner of Montana – Dillon

 As a senior member on the Senate Ag Committee, Baucus voted for the VMLRP in the 2003 National Veterinary Medical Service Act and strengthened it in the 2008 Farm Bill. The VMLRP is designed to help deliver veterinarian services to underserved rural communities. The program helps veterinarians repay a portion of their veterinary school loans in return for serving areas lacking sufficient veterinary resources. Awards for fiscal year 2011 totaled $7.7 million and will benefit 34 states.

 Contact: Kate Downen 406-224-5056/Jennifer Donohue 202-224-2651/Kathy Weber 406-329-7980



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