Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas

Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas VTPRK logoThe Veterinary Training Program for Rural Kansas (VTPRK) was established by the Kansas Legislature in 2006 to provide a financial incentive for graduates to practice in rural Kansas communities. Program participants currently receive up to $25,000 annually to support tuition for not more than four years.

Each student in the program is required to participate in additional activities beyond minimum requirements for their veterinary degree. The scholars have specifically-designed learning opportunities in cattle production, technical skills, small business management, marketing and public health. An advisory committee has been established for the purpose of selecting students, determine needs of the program and to provide input about the program to the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Upon completion of their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, each student is required to work at a full-time veterinary practice in one of 92 Kansas counties with fewer than 40,000 residents. For each year the student works in rural Kansas, up to $25,000 per year of qualifying students' loans would be forgiven.

Recipients to Date

  • 89 students have been admitted to the program.
  • 39 males, 50 females
  • 98% of graduates have/are fulfilling their obligations to practice in a rural community.
  • Beyond the 4-year obligation:
    • 94% are practicing in a qualifying county.
    • 77% remain in the practice of origin.

Educational Objective

Prepare graduates for long term success as a veterinary practitioner in rural Kansas. To
achieve this goal, purposeful training opportunities were designed to prepare students for rural practice. Many of these opportunities are available for all veterinary students, but are required for VTPRK students.

Program Requirements

Complete Food Animal Veterinary Certificate (FAVC) (Available to all veterinary students)

Each VTPRK student will complete 14 credit hours including:

Issues in Rural Practice
Rural practice management
Rural business management
Production medicine

FAVC students must pass a technical skills assessment and present a capstone seminar.

Attend KS June Veterinary Continuing Education Conferences (Available to all veterinary students)

Each VTPRK student should attend June Conference and initiate networking with other KS practitioners.

Attend monthly VTPRK student meetings

Monthly meetings to expose VTPRK students to a variety of topics including visiting with current rural practitioners, discussing aspects of business management, regulatory medicine and other timely topics.

Monthly meetings involve VTPRK students from all stages of the program and allow interaction among classes and peer discussions for relevant topics.

Participate in VTPRK summer activities

One-week tour of KS agricultural production facilities potentially including dairies, cow-calf operations, purebred operations, feed yards, packing plants and rural veterinary facilities.

Areas in Kansas supported by VTPRK graduates

Kansas map - locations supported by VTPRK graduates
Click map to enlarge image

2023-2024 VTPRK Advisory Committee

KVMA Representative: Executive Board Member: Dr. Brian Hodes

KVMA Representative: VTPRK Alumni: Dr. Tera Barnhardt

Kansas Animal Health Commissioner: Dr. Justin Smith

KSFB Representative: Nancy Brown

KDA Representative: Mary Ann Kniebel

KSU CVM Representative: Associate Dean for Student Success: Dr. Jim Roush

KSU CVM Representative: Director VTPRK: Dr. Brad White

VTPRK Student Selection Committee

Drs. James Roush, Brad White, Tera Barnhardt and Mary Ann Kniebel.


VTPRK class announcements and news