Rural Vet Crisis: Minnesota Vet Seeks To Give Away Clinic, Truck

Dr. Robert Bogan, 74, is sweetening the pot for any veterinarian who might consider working in rural Faribault County, MN, when he retires. He’s giving away his practice, his clinic (equipment included) and his truck.

The 220-square mile county has 14,000 people and just one veterinarian — Bogan, who has been trying to retire for years. Bogan and a group of community leaders have been working together to try to find another veterinarian to care for the animals, which include everything from cattle and horses to dogs and cats.

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In addition to Bogan’s practice, Faribault County is trying to make the job even bette. The county is enrolled in a federal program that forgives up to $150,000 in student loans for vets who work in the county for six years.

Still, not one person has come forward to take the deal. The issue facing Faribault County is not unusual, as large portions of rural United States are in a veterinary shortage. More lucrative clinics in urban and suburban areas with regular shifts and no emergency duty are a siren song to many graduating vets, many of whom don’t want to launch their own small business right away.

Having no veterinarian in the county during emergencies, like a cow in distress during calving, can hurt the bottom line for farmers in the area whose livelihood depends on their animals. Currently, the county is hopeful that Leyton Becker, who has recently finished his first year of vet school at the University of Minnesota, will come home to help. Becker is currently interning with Bogan.

Becker is from the area and was raised on a hog farm, so he understands the pressures of the job and what it entails. When Becker graduates, Bogan will be 77.

Read more at Kare11.

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