SDSU veterinary program addressing shortage in Upper Midwest

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 10:28 PM CDT
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BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The pandemic has magnified quite a few shortages, but one that had already been prevalent was veterinarians in rural areas. South Dakota State University administrators are beginning to take steps to rectify the shortage through its own veterinarian program. The first class is set to graduate in 2025 and will address a need in the Upper Midwest where Dr. Jessie Juarez says there is a particular need.

“There is a need for veterinarians in North America, especially in rural practices,” Assistant Director Juarez said. “There [are] approximately 30 veterinary accredited colleges across North America, and with that about 3,000 students graduate each year from those colleges. There is a need especially in the Upper Midwest in rural areas for rural practitioners of veterinarian medicine.”

Juarez says the classes at South Dakota State University want to focus on the rural nature of the profession. South Dakota and Minnesota make up most of the students in the program with the intention of piquing students’ interest in the immediate rural areas in the Upper Midwest. The 20 students begin the program in Brookings before heading to the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities.

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