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A country veterinarian in Faribault County, Minnesota is offering to give away his practice, clinic, pickup, and even the veterinary clinic’s cat to recruit his replacement.
At 74 years old, Robert Bogan, DVM, can’t stand the thought of leaving his county without a vet. Faribault County covers 220 square miles, includes 14,000 people and a veterinarian.
He told KARE 11 News that he hopes his offer will help bring in a veterinarian to handle the emergency calls that are deeply worrying to the community about not having a veterinarian around.
City manager Mary Kennedy said she has never heard of anyone giving their business away. Bogan knows this is true, but he insists that he is ready to sign the charter to his Blue Earth clinic and everything in it except the medicines.
A challenging road
Bill Rosenau, a Faribault County farmer and banker, told KARE that he is part of a group that has been working for years to bring a new veterinarian to the county. In fact, their efforts helped the county secure a spot on a federal program that could cancel up to $ 150,000 in college debt for its closest veterinarian for a six-year commitment.
Rosenau said it was more difficult than expected to get a veterinarian into her rural community.
The problem did not only occur in Faribault County. Many areas in rural America struggle to find veterinarians as veterinarians lure graduates to more lucrative urban and suburban clinics.
In June Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) And Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced bipartisan legislation to address the shortage of veterinarians in rural areas. The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) Enhancement Act aims to meet the growing demand for veterinarians across the country by removing taxes on programs that encourage veterinarians to practice in underserved areas.
“Veterinarians are providing essential agricultural support in so many rural areas and small towns in Michigan and across the country,” Stabenow said in a press release. “But too many places lack the veterinary care they need. This bipartisan law will incentivize veterinarians to practice in underserved areas where quality veterinary care is required to ensure healthy animals and safe food supplies. ”
Finding qualified veterinarians in farming communities is key to maintaining animal health and welfare, Crapo said in a press release.
A glimmer of hope
After five years of searching, Fairbault County has a glimmer of hope, reports KARE. Leyton Becker recently graduated from the University of Minnesota Veterinary School and is doing an internship at Bogan this summer. His salary is paid by hopeful local business owners.
Becker grew up on a pig farm 20 miles from Bogan’s clinic. Not only does he know the area, he also understands what the job requires.
However, Becker still has three years of veterinary training ahead of him, at which point Bogan would be 77 years old, reports KARE. But the beloved vet says he is ready to wait if his health keeps up.
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