In 2016, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection released their census, showing over 76,000 cattle in the counties of Columbia, Adams and Marquette had only one veterinarian servicing livestock.
In efforts to provide aid to these farming areas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded Lodi Veterinary Care with a Rural Practice Enhancement Grant, with the objective to provide high quality veterinary services that are economically sustainable.
“Over the years we have seen several livestock veterinarians either change over to small animal practice or retire without another veterinarian replacing them. This has left livestock owners without ready access to veterinary care for their animals,” said Dr. Scott Earnest, Lodi Veterinary Care livestock veterinarian. “With the support of the grant, our team is able to devote the time and resources needed to provide farm animals in the shortage area with the care and services they need.”
Rural livestock veterinarians play a pivotal role not only treating sick animals but also helping farmers succeed by designing vaccination and disease prevention programs, reproductive programs, biosecurity and treatment protocols, and proper drug use and diagnostic services. Veterinarians are also involved in the execution of state and federal programs for disease control and protecting public health. In addition, veterinarians help shape younger generations through educational events with 4-H and FFA, volunteering at the county fairs, and hosting seminars covering best practices for livestock producers.