AVMA’s Board of Directors met with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs during last weekend’s Veterinary Leadership Conference, giving AVMA leaders a valuable opportunity to discuss agriculture policies and veterinary priorities with a top USDA official.
One of the key topics of discussion in the meeting with Under Secretary Greg Ibach was how animal health can be improved through congressional action in the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill – including increasing disease detection and response capabilities, providing adequate funding for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and establishing a livestock vaccine bank. Other topics included the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program, which is administered by the USDA, and programs to enhance animal welfare and promote food safety.
As a longtime rancher, Under Secretary Ibach understands the threat posed by animal diseases and the need to proactively address these challenges. Our productive conversation about veterinary-related agricultural issues is sure to be continued with future talks about regulatory programs within USDA.
This meeting was part of AVMA’s ongoing work to ensure lawmakers and regulators hear directly from veterinarians on issues impacting our profession and involving our expertise – including animal health, animal welfare and public health.
If you’re interested in meeting with lawmakers, we have a wonderful opportunity coming up: AVMA members can register now for our 2018 annual legislative fly-in in Washington. During this two-day event in March, participants will hear from AVMA’s advocacy team and visit congressional offices to discuss key policy issues facing our profession. Space is limited, and registration closes on Jan. 26; we encourage interested members to sign up quickly!
For veterinarians who can’t make it to Washington to meet with lawmakers in person, the AVMA also provides tools to contact your lawmakers via email or phone. You can visit AVMA’s Congressional Advocacy Network to look up your lawmakers’ contact information and send editable, pre-written letters on key issues affecting veterinary medicine. You also can sign up for alerts to stay up to date on breaking policy developments affecting the veterinary profession.