A new program aimed at helping new large/food animal veterinarians is accepting applications, Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer has announced.

The Kentucky Large/Food Animal Veterinary Incentive Program may repay up to $6,000 a year of outstanding student loans of eligible veterinarians, veterinary technicians and veterinary technologists who practice mostly large/food animal medicine.

“This program is important to Kentucky’s animal agriculture industry and our food supply,” Commissioner Farmer said. “Veterinarians are leaving large animal practices faster than they can be replaced. Livestock account for about $3 billion a year in farm cash receipts, so it’s important to Kentucky’s economy that we have enough veterinarians to serve the large food animal industry.”

Veterinarians, veterinary technicians and technologists may apply within the first two years after they graduate. Preference will be given to Kentucky residents who are working in an area of defined need. A committee made up of representatives of livestock groups and other agricultural organizations involved in the initiative will select up to three recipients a year. Recipients may receive payments up to three years as long as they continue to practice mostly large/food animal medicine.

A completed application and supporting materials must be submitted to the Kentucky Farm Bureau State Office in Louisville for an applicant to be considered for the program. Applications must be postmarked no later than Dec. 1 or delivered to the KFB State Office by that date.

For more information, or to download an application, go to www.kyfb.com/federation.

The Kentucky Large/Food Animal Incentive Program is funded with a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund and made possible by the KADF, Kentucky Farm Bureau, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Foundation, the Kentucky Dairy Development Council, the Kentucky Pork Producers Association, the Kentucky Poultry Federation, the Kentucky Sheep & Goat Development Office, and the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association.