Testimony in Support of H.B. 2364
House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
February 19, 2015
Presented by Kansas Veterinary Medical Association
Representative Schwartz and members of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, thank you for the opportunity to be here today and testify in support of H.B. 2364.
I am Gary Reser and I am representing the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association (KVMA). The KVMA is the statewide association representing the Kansas veterinary profession with legislative, regulatory, continuing education and public awareness programs.
The KVMA respectfully requests you report H.B. 2364 favorable for passage.
H.B. 3005 was passed by the Kansas Legislature and signed into law in 2006. It authorized the Kansas College of Veterinary Medicine to enter into agreements with a maximum of five first year veterinary students a year identified as being eligible to receive a state loan of $20,000 per year for tuition, books, supplies and expenses.
In return, the students would be required to complete the veterinary degree program, participate in an advanced rural veterinary medicine curriculum and practice veterinary medicine full time in an underserved Kansas county with a population of less than 35,000 one year for each year of loan assistance provided.
H.B. 2364 will extend the July, 2016 sunset for the Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas at the KSU College of Veterinary Medicine outlined in H.B. 3005 in 2006 to perpetuity.
The program has been an unqualified success since the first group of students from the KSU College of Veterinary Medicine completing the advanced rural veterinary medicine curriculum graduated in 2010.
Twenty-five total students have graduated from the program since that time and are currently practicing in 18 Kansas counties.
The same economic, gender and cultural challenges facing the Kansas veterinary profession and impacting the Kansas agricultural economy almost nine years ago remain in effect today. There is no profession that plays a more important role in serving Kansas rural communities and its farmers and ranchers than veterinarians. Now is not the time to ignore this important program.
Once again, the KVMA respectfully requests the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee report H. B. 2364 favorable for passage.