The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $2.4 million in available funding to relieve veterinarian shortage situations and support veterinary services.

Funding is made available through NIFA’s Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Veterinarians play significant roles in assuring animal health and well-being, food safety and security, public health and producer profitability, especially in rural areas of the country where most livestock production occurs,” NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy said in a news release. “VSGP supports education and extension activities that will help veterinarians, veterinary students, veterinary technicians and veterinary technician students gain specialized skills and provide practices with additional resources.”

The Veterinary Services Grant Program supports development, implementation and sustainability of veterinary services to relieve veterinary shortage situations in the United States and insular areas.

Eligible applicants for education, extension and training programs include: state, national, allied or regional veterinary organization or specialty board recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association; college or school of veterinary medicine accredited by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges; university research foundation or veterinary medical foundation; department of veterinary science or department of comparative medicine accredited by the Department of Education; state agricultural experiment station; or state, local or tribal government agency.

Eligible applicants for rural practice enhancement programs include for-profit or nonprofit entities or individuals operating veterinary clinics in rural areas and veterinarian shortage areas as specified in the request for applications.

The deadline for applications is May 19, 2017. See the request for applications for details.