Senate bill would create scholarship for future Arkansas veterinarians

Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 6:24 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A piece of legislation in the Arkansas Senate hopes to recruit veterinarians to the rural parts of the state.

Senate Bill 476 would create a fund in the Arkansas Department of Agriculture that would fund a scholarship for students training to become veterinarians.

The scholarship recipient would be required to begin in-state employment within a year of graduation and would have to work for at least two years in Arkansas.

Sponsor Senator Rick Hill explained the bill addresses a veterinarian shortage in the state.

“We’ve got to do something to take care of our animals in our state, take care of the people who own animals, and take care of the necessitates of life, especially for the people in rural areas where there are no veterinarian services,” he said.

Hill said it would also help farmers in rural areas that may not have access to a local veterinarian.

“The main issue that we’re facing is trying to get these veterinarians to areas that are economically challenged that deserve to have some good veterinarian care for animals in that area,” he said. “It will provide a great service for an underserved area.”

The bill will appear before the Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development Committee on Tuesday, March 28.