Murray State University is continuing to press it case for a School of Veterinary Medicine. MSU sent out a news release Tuesday saying it continues to receive support from “legislators, governmental entities, communities, industry representatives, organizations and individuals as the institution pursues the development of a School of Veterinary Medicine.”
Last Summer the school’s board of regents adopted a resolution of support to create a task force and begin a feasibility study to examine the statewide shortage of veterinarians and work toward the development of a School of Veterinary Medicine at Murray State University.
Kentucky currently does not have a School of Veterinary Medicine, and approximately 70 students from Kentucky are accepted each year to out-of-state veterinary schools. In the United States, there are only 32 veterinary colleges accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
According to information provided by MSU from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 86,300 veterinarians in the United States and this occupation is expected to grow by over 19% by 2031. The BLS also reports a total of 122,800 veterinarian technologists/technicians are working today and the field is expected to grow by 20% by 2031.
Soon after Murray State’s Board of Regents adopted a resolution of support, a School of Veterinary Medicine Task Force comprised of leading agricultural professionals convened. A feasibility study completed last fall indicated many benefits of a new School of Veterinary Medicine at Murray State University. The feasibility study can be viewed at bit.ly/3OmHZej.
House Bill 400, available at apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/24rs/hb400.html, was introduced by House Agriculture Committee Chair Richard Heath on January 29, 2024 with 52 co-sponsors. This bill provides the authorizing language for a School of Veterinary Medicine at Murray State University.
MSU says its Hutson School of Agriculture has the largest estimated pre-veterinary medicine/veterinary technology enrollment of any university in Kentucky, and is just one of three programs in Kentucky that is fully accredited by the AVMA.
Murray State says its students are provided valuable hands-on learning opportunities that prepare them for success upon graduation. The University’s A. Carman Animal Health Technology Center, located on Murray State’s West Farm in Calloway County, offers state-of-the-art equipment and supplies to prepare students for a career in the field of veterinary medicine.
The Breathitt Veterinary Center at Murray State University, under the direction of the Hutson School of Agriculture, is located in Christian County, Kentucky and is a nationally preeminent animal disease diagnostic laboratory dedicated to protecting the invaluable assets of Kentucky’s equine, livestock and poultry industries. The center is the only Level 1 Laboratory Status designated by the USDA National Animal Health Laboratory system and one of only 60 laboratories in the United States (one of 23 laboratories with Level 1 status). The center serves as an important teaching and learning facility for Murray State students.
“We are very grateful to all of our legislators, governmental entities, communities, industry representatives, organizations and individuals for their support of a new School of Veterinary Medicine as we continue to advance this key educational and workforce opportunity,” Murray State President Dr. Bob Jackson said. “The momentum we are seeing with this initiative is not possible without their assistance as we best serve our students, our region, the Commonwealth and beyond.”
“Murray State University’s Hutson School of Agriculture has a long history of preparing students for successful careers, including careers in the veterinary field,” Murray State University Hutson School of Agriculture Dean Dr. Brian Parr said. “The development of a new School of Veterinary Medicine is the next logical step to serve our students while addressing a key statewide need that will be of great benefit. We are very appreciative of all individuals who have been instrumental in lending their support and involvement on behalf of this initiative.”