Veterinary Loan Repayment Program
A state program will help new vets pay student loans if they agree to work in underserved areas.
At least one-third of Colorado's 64 counties – encompassing vast stretches of ranchland on the state's Eastern Plains and Western Slope – lack veterinarians needed to care for sheep, hogs, dairy cattle, and beef cattle that are essential to food production and to the well-being of rural economies and communities.
Dr. Kayla Henderson is CSU trained vet who practices in the San Luis Valley. She had the help a federal program which is the model for the state program. That program helped her achieve her dream of becoming a veterinarian.
"But it is hard and we do have to be on call. We have emergency duties that are stressful. They are hard on family life, hard on social life. Our type of job is not as attractive as it once was because it is hard work. Alongside that the types of charges that a veterinarian can charge are not comparable to what they can charge in big cities."
The Colorado Veterinarian Loan Repayment Program will provide $70,000 over four years for each awardee and is accepting applications through the end of October. Henderson says if successful this first year, it will become an annual program.