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3 WKU graduates selected as winners in Kentucky veterinary incentive program

Three Kentucky veterinarians who are WKU graduates have been selected to receive assistance in repaying their student loans under a new program addressing the shortage of large food animal veterinarians and technicians in the state.

Dr. Patricia Davis of Cynthiana, Dr. Angela Olt of Greensburg and Dr. Ryan Wonderlich of Shelbyville can receive up to $6,000 per year for three years. They are the first to be enrolled in Kentucky’s Large/Food Animal Veterinary Incentive Program.

Kentucky Farm Bureau’s Education Foundation is administering the program on behalf of the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Foundation, which launched the initiative after receiving a $100,000 donation for the purpose of encouraging large animal practice in the state. The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board later approved a $1 million investment for the program.

Recipients must be in the first or second year of practice in Kentucky and working in a practice that devotes at least half of its time to large/food animals. They must have a current outstanding balance on a student loan through a lending institution.

Dr. Davis is a 2009 graduate of Tuskegee University who is practicing at the Harrison Veterinary Clinic in Cynthiana. She graduated in the top three percent of her class at Bourbon County High School and studied biology at WKU before enrolling at Tuskegee University in Alabama. Tuskegee and Auburn University have an arrangement with the state of Kentucky to accept a number of Kentucky students each year. (Kentucky does not have a School of Veterinary Medicine.)

Dr. Olt has a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from St. George’s University as well as a Masters in Animal Science from UK and a B.S. in Agriculture from WKU. She practices at the Shuffett Animal Clinic in Greensburg and lives on a Green County farm with her husband.

Dr. Wonderlich has a practice in Shelbyville. He has a Doctorate Degree from Auburn University and received an undergraduate degree from WKU. He’s a native of Shelby County and was part of a 4-H Club national champion dairy judging team. His late father, Dr. Roger Wonderlich, practiced food animal medicine in the area for more than 30 years.

KFB President Mark Haney is chairman of the committee overseeing the program.

“It’s very gratifying to have an opportunity to help these outstanding young veterinarians who are serving our animal agriculture industry,” he said. “It’s wonderful that they chose to return to Kentucky to practice. They are very worthy of assistance to enable them to become even more established in their practice.”

Contact: Roger Nesbitt, Kentucky Farm Bureau, (502) 495-5000 Ext.7237

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