If you’re looking to expand your clientele to include more rural clients in underserved areas, then look into the Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP) from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which is part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
What is the VSGP? According to the USDA website:
“The purpose of the Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP) is to relieve veterinarian shortage situations and support veterinary services. Grants will be made available on a competitive basis to qualified entities to develop, implement, and sustain veterinary services through education, training, recruitment, placement, and retention of veterinarians and veterinary students. Grants will also be made to establish or expand veterinary practices … The Veterinary Services Grant Program is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Initial funding for the program, $2.5 million, was appropriated in the FY 2016 budget.”
There are two types of grants available: Education grants and equipment grants. Education grants can be used for recruiting, training programs in food safety or food animal medicine, programs to help enhance food safety and more. Equipment grants are “for establishing or expanding veterinary practices by equipping veterinary offices; sharing in overhead costs; or establishing mobile veterinary facilities that address education or extension needs,” according to the USDA.
Who can apply for this grant? There are 7 categories, which include:
- A US-based for-profit, nonprofit, or individual operating a veterinary clinic and providing services in a designated veterinarian shortage situation and in a rural area;
- State, national, allied, or regional veterinary organizations or specialty boards recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association;
- American Veterinary Medical Association accredited colleges or schools of veterinary medicine;
- University research or veterinary medical foundations;
- Departments of veterinary science or comparative medicine accredited by the Department of Education;
- State agricultural experiment stations; or
- State, local, or tribal government agencies.