Torrington, WY (Western Ag Network) February 6th, 2024 — On today’s Midday Ag Report on the Western Ag Network, Russell Nemetz said that veterinarians have been discussing important legislative priorities with lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week.
“As part of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s annual legislative fly-in, advocates are urging congressional offices to support and cosponsor the Rural Veterinary Workforce Act,” said Nemetz. “Montana Farm Bureau Director, Beth Blevins, is a large animal veterinarian in Western Montana, and she explained some of the challenges in attracting more people to veterinary medicine.”
“One of the big pieces is the cost of veterinary education,” said Blevins. “When I graduated, both my living expenses and tuition, was $28,000 for four year. Now, it’s probably over $100,000 – and that’s with the state paying the out-of-state portion of tuition. So, cost and return on investment. A lot of people don’t want to put that much time, effort, and money into an education when they don’t see a reality of getting enough of a return on investment.”
“Now, the Rural Veterinary Workforce Act would end federal taxation on the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program. This action would enable more veterinarians to participate in a program that offers up to $25,000 a year for student loan repayment in exchange for service and USDA-designated veterinarian shortage situations,” said Nemetz.
Nemetz also talked about the fertilizer market.
“With spring field work on the horizon, fertilizer analysts are describing the fertilizer market as “positively cautious,” said Nemetz. “They think the fertilizer side is more on the positive side, and the farmers are more on the cautious side. That’s because commodity prices have been under some pressure, and haven’t been as rosy as they were late last fall.”
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