Statement by SDSU President Barry Dunn on House Bill 1227
BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota State University President Barry Dunn issued the following statement following Governor Kristi Noem’s signing of House Bill 1227 on March 16. The bill authorizes $550,000 to the Board of Regents for bridge funding, over the next two academic years, to help initiate the Professional (DVM) Program in Veterinary Medicine at SDSU.
This new professional program is a collaborative effort between South Dakota State University College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Students, upon finishing all pre-veterinary requirements, will complete the first two years of the professional program at the SDSU Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences and the final two years of veterinary school at the University of Minnesota.
The first cohort of 20 students will begin Fall Semester 2021. The funding outlined in the bill is necessary to launch the program until it is self-supported through tuition dollars in fall 2022 and beyond.
“This very important bill will help launch the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine and stabilize the veterinary industry in South Dakota by addressing a critical need for well-trained veterinarians in rural areas,” Dunn said. “As the food and animal industries continue to grow in the state and region, there will be an even greater need for veterinarians. This partnership is an example of higher education at work when two land-grant universities come together to address a workforce need and develop a program that will support industry and the citizens of our respective states.
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“This was truly a collaborative effort, not just between two universities, but many elected officials and industry leaders,” Dunn added. “Industry leaders from South Dakota Ag Unity, South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association, South Dakota Cattlemen, South Dakota Pork Producers Council, and South Dakota Farm Bureau testified in Pierre and were essential to the bill’s success. There was also tremendous support from many elected officials including the Governor, as well as both Senators and Representatives who championed the bill and understood its importance to South Dakota and the region. I personally thank each and every person who rolled-up their sleeves and pitched -in.”
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