Working for Missourians

During FY 2009, the office’s faculty interacted with more than 1,900 professionals at 43 producer and veterinary educational events sponsored by MU Extension and other interested organizations throughout Missouri.

Veterinary Medical Extension and Continuing Education

Source: MU Extension Annual Report, FY 2009

MU Extension’s veterinary medical program develops continuing education and outreach efforts in partnership with extension specialists, University faculty and researchers. Together, they bring together large- and small-animal veterinarians and allied industries with the livestock producers, companion animal owners and other members of the public they serve. The program tackled issues facing the livestock industry and small-animal veterinary practices in Missouri and surrounding states through continuing education workshops, animal science course lectures, industry-sponsored seminars and on-site farm visits.

New for FY 2009, the Commercial Agriculture Stocker/Backgrounder Institute addressed current health, nutrition, economic and technology management topics pertaining to stocker/backgrounder cattle operations. More than 65 farmers and veterinarians attended the one-day conference in Harrisonville.

The program also provided support for dairy producers by publishing the Missouri Dairy Reproduction Manual and continued work with intensive-grazing dairy operations in Southwest Missouri. Faculty also dealt with consumer concerns by building awareness and improving understanding of farmers’ efforts in animal care and safe food production through the Missouri Beef Quality Assurance program.

Veterinary Medical Extension and Continuing EducationLarry Klenofsky, DVM, of the Forum Veterinary Clinic in Chesterfield was one of 550 participants in Veterinary Medicine Extension and Continuing Education programs in FY 2009, including the annual Internal Medicine Short Course, hosted in Columbia.

To meet rising food demands resulting in increased livestock production, the American Veterinary Medical Association predicts that as many as 13 percent more food-supply veterinarians will be needed to serve the agricultural industry by 2016. Every year, the shortfall grows by 5 percent due to retirements and fewer graduating veterinarians going into food-animal medicine.

In FY 2009, the veterinary medical program conducted a survey of more than 540 Missouri cattle farms and ranches, showing that, of the 81 percent using veterinary services in the past year, nearly one-fifth had problems obtaining those services for their operations. Respondents indicated the most common difficulty they experienced was a significant delay in getting a veterinarian to come to the farm. This was due to the high demand for veterinary services but dwindling number of rural veterinarians available to provide the needed services. More than half of those surveyed believed the problem will worsen during the next decade. Respondents recommended financial incentives for veterinarians to locate in rural areas and scholarship programs for veterinary students to specialize in health care for cattle.

The results of this study were used by the Missouri Department of Agriculture during its efforts to secure funds from the Missouri General Assembly for the agency’s Large Animal Veterinary Student Loan Program.

Veterinary Medical Extension and Continuing Education Web site