Solicitation of Veterinary Shortage Situation Nominations for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), 45710-45713 [2019-18803]

Download as PDF 45710 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices Responsible Official The responsible official who will approve the ROD and the revised Forest Plan for the Chugach National Forest is Jeff E. Schramm, Forest Supervisor, Chugach National Forest, Chugach National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 161 E. 1st Ave, Door 8, Anchorage, AK 99501, and Phone: (907) 743–9500. The responsible official for the list of species of conservation concern is David Schmid, Regional Forester, USDA Forest Service Alaska Region, 709 W. 9th Street, Juneau, AK 99801. The Regional Forester is the reviewing officer for the revised Forest Plan since the Forest Supervisor is the responsible official (36 CFR 219.56(e)(2)). The decision to approve the species of conservation concern list will be subject to a separate objection process. The Chief of the Forest Service is the reviewing officer for species of conservation concern identification since the Regional Forester is the Dated: August 13. 2019. Richard A. Cooksey, Acting Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System. [FR Doc. 2019–18795 Filed 8–29–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Institute of Food and Agriculture Solicitation of Veterinary Shortage Situation Nominations for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA. ACTION: Notice and solicitation for nominations. AGENCY: The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is soliciting SUMMARY: Fiscal year First day to submit shortage nominations 2020 ................................................................ 2021 ................................................................ 2022 ................................................................ October 7, 2019 ............................................ October 5, 2020 ............................................ October 4, 2021 ............................................ Submissions must be made by downloading the Veterinarian Shortage Situation nomination form provided in the VMLRP Shortage Situations section of the NIFA website at: www.nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp, completing the fillable PDF electronically, and submitting it via email to: vmlrp.applications@usda.gov. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VMLRP Program Coordinator; National Institute of Food and Agriculture; U.S. Department of Agriculture; 6501 Beacon Drive, Kansas City, MO 64133; Email: vmlrp.applications@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background and Purpose jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES responsible official (36 CFR 219.56(e)(2)). Food supply veterinary medicine embraces a broad array of veterinary professional activities, specialties and responsibilities, and is defined as all aspects of veterinary medicine’s involvement in food supply systems, from traditional agricultural production to consumption. A series of studies and reports 1–6 have drawn attention to 1 Government Accountability Office, Veterinary Workforce: Actions Are Needed to Ensure Sufficient Capacity for Protecting Public and Animal Health, GAO–09–178: Feb 18, 2009). 2 National Academies of Science, Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine, 2013. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 Last day to submit shortage nominations November 11, 2019. November 9, 2020. November 8, 2021. maldistributions in the veterinary workforce leaving some communities, especially rural areas, with insufficient access to food supply veterinary services. Two programs, born out of this concern, aim to mitigate the maldistribution of the veterinary workforce: The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) and Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP), both administered by USDANIFA. VMLRP addresses increasing veterinary school debt by offering veterinary school debt payments in exchange for service in shortage situations, while VSGP addresses other factors contributing to the 3 Andrus DM, Gwinner KP, Prince, JB. Food Supply Veterinary Medicine Coalition Report: Estimating FSM Demand and Maintaining the Availability of Veterinarians in Food Supply Related Disciplines in the United States and Canada, 2016. https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/ Reference/Pages/Food-Supply-Veterinary-MedicineCoalition-Report.aspx. 4 Andrus DM, Gwinner KP, Prince, JB. Future demand, probable shortages and strategies for creating a better future in food supply veterinary medicine. 2006, JAVMA 229(1):57–69. 5 Andrus DM, Gwinner KP, Prince, JB. Attracting students to careers in food supply veterinary medicine. 2006, JAVMA 228(1):16931704. 6 Andrus DM, Gwinner KP, Prince, JB. Job satisfaction, changes in occupational area and commitment to a career in food supply veterinary medicine. 2006, JAVMA 228(12):1884–1893. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 nominations of veterinary service shortage situations for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) for fiscal years (FY) 2020– 2022, as authorized under the National Veterinary Medical Services Act (NVMSA). This notice initiates the nomination period for FY 2020 and prescribes the procedures and criteria to be used by eligible nominating officials (State, Insular Area, DC and Federal Lands) to nominate veterinary shortage situations for fiscal years 2020–2022. Each year all eligible nominating officials may submit nominations, up to the maximum indicated for each entity in this notice. NIFA is conducting this solicitation of veterinary shortage situation nominations under an approved information collection (OMB Control Number 0524–0050). DATES: Shortage situation nominations must be submitted between the first Monday in October and the second Monday in November in each relevant fiscal year. maldistribution of veterinarians serving the agricultural sector. Specifically, the VSGP promotes availability and access to (1) specialized education and training which will enable veterinarians and veterinary technicians to provide services in designated veterinarian shortage situations, and (2) practiceenhancing equipment and personnel resources to enable veterinary practices to expand or improve access to veterinary services. Paperwork Reduction Act In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations (5 CFR part 1320) that implement the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the information collection and recordkeeping requirements imposed by the implementation of these guidelines have been approved by OMB Control Number 0524–0050. Table of Contents in Guidelines for Veterinary Shortage Situation Nominations I. Preface and Authority II. Nomination of Veterinary Shortage Situations A. General 1. Eligible Shortage Situations 2. Authorized Respondents and Use of Consultation E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices 3. State Allocation of Nominations 4. FY 2020–2022 Shortage Situation Nomination Process 5. Submission and Due Dates 6. Periods Covered 7. Definitions B. Nomination Form C. NIFA Review of Shortage Situation Nominations 1. Review Panel Composition and Process 2. Review Criteria Guidelines for Veterinary Shortage Situation Nominations I. Preface and Authority In January 2003, the National Veterinary Medical Service Act (NVMSA) was passed into law adding section 1415A to the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1997 (NARETPA). This law established a new Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (7 U.S.C. 3151a) authorizing the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out a program of entering into agreements with veterinarians under which they agree to provide veterinary services in veterinarian shortage situations. In FY 2010, NIFA announced the first funding opportunity for the VMLRP. Section 7104 of the 2014 Farm Bill (Pub. L. 113–79) added section 1415B to NARETPA, as amended, (7 U.S.C. 3151b) to establish the Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP). This amendment authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to make competitive grants to qualified entities and individual veterinarians that carry out programs in veterinarian shortage situations and for the purpose of developing, implementing, and sustaining veterinary services. Funding for the VSGP was first appropriated in FY 2016 through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Pub. L. 114–113). The VSGP was reauthorized in Section 7106 of the 2018 Farm Bill (Pub. L. 115–334). Pursuant to the requirements enacted in the NVMSA of 2004 (as revised), and the implementing regulation for this Act, Part 3431 Subpart A of the VMLRP Final Rule [75 FR 20239–20248], NIFA hereby implements guidelines for eligible nominating officials to nominate veterinary shortage situations for the FY 2020–2022 program cycle. II. Nomination of Veterinary Shortage Situations jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES A. General 1. Eligible Shortage Situations Section 1415A of NARETPA, as amended and revised by Section 7105 of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act, directs determination of veterinarian shortage situations for the VMLRP to consider (1) geographical areas that the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 Secretary determines have a shortage of veterinarians; and (2) areas of veterinary practice that the Secretary determines have a shortage of veterinarians, such as food animal medicine, public health, epidemiology, and food safety. This section also added that priority should be given to agreements with veterinarians for the practice of food animal medicine in veterinarian shortage situations. While the NVMSA (as amended) specifies priority be given to food animal medicine shortage situations, and that consideration also be given to specialty areas such as public health, epidemiology and food safety, the Act does not identify any areas of veterinary practice as ineligible. Accordingly, all nominated veterinary shortage situations will be considered eligible for submission. A subset of the shortages designated for VMLRP applicants is also available to satisfy requirements, as applicable, for VSGP applicants. In addition, a shortage situation under the VSGP must also be designated rural as defined in section 343(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)). Nominations describing either public or private practice veterinary shortage situations are eligible for submission. 2. Authorized Respondents and Use of Consultation The only authorized respondent on behalf of each State is the chief State Animal Health Official (SAHO), as duly authorized by the Governor or the Governor’s designee in each State. The only authorized respondent on behalf of the Federal Government is the Chief Federal Animal Health Officer (Deputy Administrator of Veterinary Services, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service or designee), as duly authorized by the Secretary of Agriculture. The eligible nominating official must submit nominations using the instructions provided in section A.4, FY 2020–2022 Shortage Situation Nomination Process. NIFA strongly encourages the nominating officials to involve leading health animal experts in the State in the identification and prioritization of shortage situation nominations. 3. State Allocation of Nominations NIFA will accept the number of nominations equivalent to the maximum number of designated shortage areas for each State. For historical background and more information on the rationale for capping nominations and State allocation method, visit https://nifa.usda.gov/ PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45711 vmlrp-nomination-and-designationveterinary-shortage-situations. The maximum number of nominations (and potential designations) is based on data from the 2017 Agricultural Census conducted by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Awards from previous years have no bearing on a State’s maximum number of allowable shortage nomination submissions or designations in any given year, or number of nominations or designations allowed for subsequent years. NIFA reserves the right in the future to proportionally adjust the maximum number of designated shortage situations per State to ensure a balance between available funds and the requirement to ensure that priority is given to mitigating veterinary shortages corresponding to situations of greatest need. Nomination Allocation tables for FY 2020–2022 are available under the VMLRP Shortage Situations section of the VMLRP website at https:// nifa.usda.gov/resource/vmlrp-shortageallocations. Table I lists the maximum nomination allocations by State. Table II lists ‘‘Special Consideration Areas’’ which include any State or Insular Area not reporting data to NASS, reporting less than $1,000,000 in annual Livestock and Livestock Products Total Sales ($), and/ or possessing less than 500,000 acres. One nomination is allocated to any State or Insular Area classified as a Special Consideration Area. Table III shows the values and quartile ranks of States for two variables broadly correlated with demand for food supply veterinary services: ‘‘Livestock and Livestock Products Total Sales ($)’’ (LPTS) and ‘‘Land Area (acres)’’ (LA). The maximum number of NIFAdesignated shortage situations per State is based on the sum of quartile rankings for LPTS and LA for each State and can be found in Table IV. While Federal Lands are widely dispersed within States and Insular Areas across the country, they constitute a composite total land area over twice the size of Alaska. If the 200-mile limit for U.S. coastal waters and associated fishery areas are included, Federal Land total acreage would exceed 1 billion. Both State and Federal Animal Health officials have responsibilities for matters relating to terrestrial and aquatic food animal health on Federal Lands. Interaction between wildlife and domestic livestock, such as sheep and cattle, is particularly common in the plains States where significant portions of Federal lands are leased for grazing. Therefore, both SAHOs and the Chief Federal Animal Health Officer (Deputy E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 45712 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices Administrator of Veterinary Services, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service or designee) may submit nominations to address shortage situations on or related to Federal Lands. Nominations related to Federal Lands submitted by SAHOs will count towards the maximum number of nominations for that individual state. NIFA emphasizes that the shortage nomination allocation is set to broadly balance the number of designated shortage situations across States prior to the nomination and award phases of the VMLRP and VSGP. Awards will be made based strictly on the peer review panels’ assessment according to each program’s review criteria; thus no State will be given a preference for placement of awardees. Additionally, each designated shortage situation will be limited to one award per program per year. 4. FY 2020–2022 Shortage Situation Nomination Process For the FY 2020–2022 program cycle, all eligible nominating officials submitting may, during each nomination period: (1) Request to retain Fiscal year First day to submit shortage nominations 2020 ........ 2021 ........ 2022 ........ October 7, 2019 ............................................................................. October 5, 2020 ............................................................................. October 4, 2021 ............................................................................. 7. Period Covered Each shortage situation is approved for one program year cycle only. However, any previously approved shortage situation not filled in a given program year may be resubmitted as a retained (carry-over) nomination. Retained (carry-over) shortage nominations (without any revisions) will be automatically approved for up to three years before requiring another merit review. By resubmitting a carryover nomination, the nominating official is affirming that in his or her professional judgment the original case made for shortage status, and the original description of needs, remain current and accurate. Shortage situations where an award was made, if still considered shortages, may be resubmitted as new nominations. jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES designated status for any shortage situation successfully designated in the previous year and/or (2) submit new nominations. Any shortage from previous year not retained or submitted as a new nomination will not be considered a shortage situation in the next year. The total number of new nominations plus designated nominations retained (carried over) may not exceed the maximum number of nominations each eligible nominating official is permitted. The following process is the mechanism for retaining a designated nomination: Each nominating official should review the map of VMLRP designated shortage situations for the previous year—FY 2019’s map can be found here: (https://go.usa.gov/xyd4K)and download a PDF copy of the nomination form they wish to renew. If the nominating official wishes to retain (carry over) one or more designated nomination(s), the nominating official shall copy and paste the prior year information into the current year’s nomination form and submit it to vmlrp.applications@usda.gov. 8. Definitions For the purpose of implementing the solicitation for veterinary shortage situations, the definitions provided in 7 CFR part 3431 are applicable. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 1. Review Panel Composition and Process NIFA will convene a panel of food supply veterinary medicine experts from some or all of the following groups: Federal and/or State agencies, Fmt 4703 Submissions must be made by downloading the Veterinarian Shortage Situation nomination form provided in the VMLRP Shortage Situations section at https://nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp-shortagesituations, completing the fillable PDF form, and submitting it via email to: vmlrp.applications@usda.gov. Both new and retained (carry-over) nominations must be submitted on or before the deadlines listed in the table below. November 11, 2019. November 9, 2020. November 8, 2021. C. NIFA Review of Shortage Situation Nominations Frm 00004 5. Submission and Due Date Last day to submit shortage nominations B. Nomination Form The VMLRP Shortage Nomination Form must be used to nominate veterinarian shortage situations. Once designated as a shortage situation, VMLRP applicants will use the information to select shortage situations they are willing and qualified to fill, and to guide the preparation of their applications. NIFA will use the information to assess contractual compliance of awardees. The form is available in the VMLRP Shortage Situations section at https:// nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp-shortage-situations. See Part II A. 5. above for submission information. Detailed directions for each field can be found at https:// nifa.usda.gov/resource/vmlrpveterinarian-shortage-situationnomination-form-form-nifa-2009-0001. PO 00000 Both new and retained nominations must be submitted on the Veterinary Shortage Situation Nomination form provided in the VMLRP Shortage Situations section at https:// nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp-shortage-situations. Nominations retained (carried over) will be designated without review unless major changes in content are identified during administrative processing or the shortage has been retained for three years. Major changes in content or shortages already retained for three consecutive years will be treated as new submissions and undergo merit review. Sfmt 4703 and institutions receiving Animal Health and Disease Research Program funds under section 1433 of NARETPA, to review the nominations and make recommendations to the NIFA Program Manager. NIFA will review the panel’s recommendations and designate the VMLRP shortage situations. The list of approved shortage situations will be made available on the VMLRP website at www.nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp. 2. Review Criteria Criteria used by the shortage situation nomination review panel and NIFA for certifying a veterinary shortage situation will be consistent with the information requested in the shortage situations nomination form. NIFA understands the process for defining the risk landscape associated with veterinary service shortages within a State may require consideration of many qualitative and quantitative factors. In addition, each shortage situation will be characterized by a different array of subjective and objective supportive information that must be developed into a cogent case identifying, characterizing, and justifying a given geographic or disciplinary area as deficient in certain E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2019 / Notices types of veterinary capacity or service. To accommodate the uniqueness of each shortage situation, the nomination form provides opportunities to present a case using both supportive metrics and narrative explanations to define and explain the proposed need. While NIFA anticipates some arguments made in support of a given shortage situation will be qualitative, respondents are encouraged to present verifiable quantitative and qualitative evidentiary information wherever possible. Absence of sufficient data to support a shortage such as animal and veterinarian census data for the proposed shortage area(s), or sufficient information regarding the characteristics of the shortage so that applicants may prepare successful applications and panelists are able to fully evaluate the fit of the applicant to the shortage area, may lead the panel to recommend revision of the shortage nomination to address these issues. If the revisions are not addressed, the shortage nominations will not be approved. Done in Washington, DC, this 20th day of August, 2019. Steve Censky, Deputy Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture. [FR Doc. 2019–18803 Filed 8–29–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–22–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program for Fiscal Year 2020 Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice. The Rural BusinessCooperative Service (the Agency) Notice of Solicitation of Applications (Notice) is being issued prior to passage of a final appropriations act to allow potential applicants time to submit applications for financial assistance under Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 and give the Agency time to process applications within the current FY. This Notice is being issued prior to enactment of full year appropriation for FY 2020. The Agency will publish the amount of funding received in any continuing resolution or the final appropriations act on its website at https:// www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/noticessolicitation-applications-nosas. Expenses incurred in developing jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:43 Aug 29, 2019 Jkt 247001 applications will be at the applicant’s risk. The REAP has two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. Eligible renewable energy systems for REAP provide energy from: Wind, solar, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydro-electric, ocean, geothermal, or hydrogen derived from these renewable resources. The Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant is available to a unit of State, Tribal, or local government; instrumentality of a State, Tribal, or local government; institution of higher education; rural electric cooperative; a public power entity; or a council, as defined in 16 U.S.C. 3451. The recipient of grant funds, grantee, will establish a program to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating the energy efficiency and the potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies into their operations. DATES: See under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The applicable USDA Rural Development Energy Coordinator for your respective State, as identified via the following link: https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/ RBS_StateEnergyCoordinators.pdf. For information about this Notice, please contact Anthony Crooks, Rural Energy Policy Specialist, USDA Rural Development, Energy Division, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 3225, Room 6870, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 205–9322. Email: anthony.crooks@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Preface The Agency encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Rural Prosperity Task Force report to help improve life in rural America (www.usda.gov/ ruralprosperity). Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45713 partnerships, and innovation. Key strategies include: • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America • Developing the Rural Economy • Harnessing Technological Innovation • Supporting a Rural Workforce • Improving Quality of Life I. Program Description The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and helps meet the Nation’s critical energy needs. REAP has two types of funding assistance: (1) Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance and (2) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants. The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Assistance provides grants and guaranteed loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. Eligible renewable energy systems for REAP provide energy from: Wind, solar, renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters), small hydro-electric, ocean, geothermal, or hydrogen derived from these renewable resources. The Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant is available to a unit of State, Tribal, or local government; instrumentality of a State, Tribal, or local government; institution of higher education; rural electric cooperative; a public power entity; or a council, as defined in 16 U.S.C. 3451. The recipient of grant funds, grantee, will establish a program to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating the energy efficiency and the potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies into their operations. A. General. Applications for REAP can be submitted any time throughout the year. This Notice announces the deadlines, dates and times that applications must be received in order to be considered for REAP funds provided by the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115– 334), (2018 Farm Bill), and any appropriated funds that REAP may receive from the appropriation for FY 2020 for grants, guaranteed loans, and combined grants and guaranteed loans to purchase and install renewable energy systems, and make energy efficiency improvements; and for grants to conduct energy audits and renewable energy development assistance. The Notice announces the acceptance of applications under REAP for FY 2020 E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 169 (Friday, August 30, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45710-45713]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-18803]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

National Institute of Food and Agriculture


Solicitation of Veterinary Shortage Situation Nominations for the 
Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP)

AGENCY: National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.

ACTION: Notice and solicitation for nominations.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is 
soliciting nominations of veterinary service shortage situations for 
the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) for fiscal years 
(FY) 2020-2022, as authorized under the National Veterinary Medical 
Services Act (NVMSA). This notice initiates the nomination period for 
FY 2020 and prescribes the procedures and criteria to be used by 
eligible nominating officials (State, Insular Area, DC and Federal 
Lands) to nominate veterinary shortage situations for fiscal years 
2020-2022. Each year all eligible nominating officials may submit 
nominations, up to the maximum indicated for each entity in this 
notice. NIFA is conducting this solicitation of veterinary shortage 
situation nominations under an approved information collection (OMB 
Control Number 0524-0050).

DATES: Shortage situation nominations must be submitted between the 
first Monday in October and the second Monday in November in each 
relevant fiscal year.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               First day to submit
         Fiscal year          shortage nominations             Last day to submit shortage nominations
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020........................  October 7, 2019.....  November 11, 2019.
2021........................  October 5, 2020.....  November 9, 2020.
2022........................  October 4, 2021.....  November 8, 2021.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


ADDRESSES: Submissions must be made by downloading the Veterinarian 
Shortage Situation nomination form provided in the VMLRP Shortage 
Situations section of the NIFA website at: www.nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp, 
completing the fillable PDF electronically, and submitting it via email 
to: [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VMLRP Program Coordinator; National 
Institute of Food and Agriculture; U.S. Department of Agriculture; 6501 
Beacon Drive, Kansas City, MO 64133; Email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background and Purpose

    Food supply veterinary medicine embraces a broad array of 
veterinary professional activities, specialties and responsibilities, 
and is defined as all aspects of veterinary medicine's involvement in 
food supply systems, from traditional agricultural production to 
consumption. A series of studies and reports 1-6 have drawn 
attention to maldistributions in the veterinary workforce leaving some 
communities, especially rural areas, with insufficient access to food 
supply veterinary services.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Government Accountability Office, Veterinary Workforce: 
Actions Are Needed to Ensure Sufficient Capacity for Protecting 
Public and Animal Health, GAO-09-178: Feb 18, 2009).
    \2\ National Academies of Science, Workforce Needs in Veterinary 
Medicine, 2013.
    \3\ Andrus DM, Gwinner KP, Prince, JB. Food Supply Veterinary 
Medicine Coalition Report: Estimating FSM Demand and Maintaining the 
Availability of Veterinarians in Food Supply Related Disciplines in 
the United States and Canada, 2016. https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/Pages/Food-Supply-Veterinary-Medicine-Coalition-Report.aspx.
    \4\ Andrus DM, Gwinner KP, Prince, JB. Future demand, probable 
shortages and strategies for creating a better future in food supply 
veterinary medicine. 2006, JAVMA 229(1):57-69.
    \5\ Andrus DM, Gwinner KP, Prince, JB. Attracting students to 
careers in food supply veterinary medicine. 2006, JAVMA 
228(1):16931704.
    \6\ Andrus DM, Gwinner KP, Prince, JB. Job satisfaction, changes 
in occupational area and commitment to a career in food supply 
veterinary medicine. 2006, JAVMA 228(12):1884-1893.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Two programs, born out of this concern, aim to mitigate the 
maldistribution of the veterinary workforce: The Veterinary Medicine 
Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) and Veterinary Services Grant Program 
(VSGP), both administered by USDA- NIFA. VMLRP addresses increasing 
veterinary school debt by offering veterinary school debt payments in 
exchange for service in shortage situations, while VSGP addresses other 
factors contributing to the maldistribution of veterinarians serving 
the agricultural sector. Specifically, the VSGP promotes availability 
and access to (1) specialized education and training which will enable 
veterinarians and veterinary technicians to provide services in 
designated veterinarian shortage situations, and (2) practice-enhancing 
equipment and personnel resources to enable veterinary practices to 
expand or improve access to veterinary services.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
regulations (5 CFR part 1320) that implement the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements imposed by the implementation of these 
guidelines have been approved by OMB Control Number 0524-0050.

Table of Contents in Guidelines for Veterinary Shortage Situation 
Nominations

I. Preface and Authority
II. Nomination of Veterinary Shortage Situations
    A. General
    1. Eligible Shortage Situations
    2. Authorized Respondents and Use of Consultation

[[Page 45711]]

    3. State Allocation of Nominations
    4. FY 2020-2022 Shortage Situation Nomination Process
    5. Submission and Due Dates
    6. Periods Covered
    7. Definitions
    B. Nomination Form
    C. NIFA Review of Shortage Situation Nominations
    1. Review Panel Composition and Process
    2. Review Criteria
Guidelines for Veterinary Shortage Situation Nominations

I. Preface and Authority

    In January 2003, the National Veterinary Medical Service Act 
(NVMSA) was passed into law adding section 1415A to the National 
Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1997 
(NARETPA). This law established a new Veterinary Medicine Loan 
Repayment Program (7 U.S.C. 3151a) authorizing the Secretary of 
Agriculture to carry out a program of entering into agreements with 
veterinarians under which they agree to provide veterinary services in 
veterinarian shortage situations. In FY 2010, NIFA announced the first 
funding opportunity for the VMLRP.
    Section 7104 of the 2014 Farm Bill (Pub. L. 113-79) added section 
1415B to NARETPA, as amended, (7 U.S.C. 3151b) to establish the 
Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP). This amendment authorizes the 
Secretary of Agriculture to make competitive grants to qualified 
entities and individual veterinarians that carry out programs in 
veterinarian shortage situations and for the purpose of developing, 
implementing, and sustaining veterinary services. Funding for the VSGP 
was first appropriated in FY 2016 through the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2016 (Pub. L. 114-113). The VSGP was re-authorized 
in Section 7106 of the 2018 Farm Bill (Pub. L. 115-334).
    Pursuant to the requirements enacted in the NVMSA of 2004 (as 
revised), and the implementing regulation for this Act, Part 3431 
Subpart A of the VMLRP Final Rule [75 FR 20239-20248], NIFA hereby 
implements guidelines for eligible nominating officials to nominate 
veterinary shortage situations for the FY 2020-2022 program cycle.

II. Nomination of Veterinary Shortage Situations

A. General

1. Eligible Shortage Situations
    Section 1415A of NARETPA, as amended and revised by Section 7105 of 
the Food, Conservation and Energy Act, directs determination of 
veterinarian shortage situations for the VMLRP to consider (1) 
geographical areas that the Secretary determines have a shortage of 
veterinarians; and (2) areas of veterinary practice that the Secretary 
determines have a shortage of veterinarians, such as food animal 
medicine, public health, epidemiology, and food safety. This section 
also added that priority should be given to agreements with 
veterinarians for the practice of food animal medicine in veterinarian 
shortage situations.
    While the NVMSA (as amended) specifies priority be given to food 
animal medicine shortage situations, and that consideration also be 
given to specialty areas such as public health, epidemiology and food 
safety, the Act does not identify any areas of veterinary practice as 
ineligible. Accordingly, all nominated veterinary shortage situations 
will be considered eligible for submission.
    A subset of the shortages designated for VMLRP applicants is also 
available to satisfy requirements, as applicable, for VSGP applicants. 
In addition, a shortage situation under the VSGP must also be 
designated rural as defined in section 343(a) of the Consolidated Farm 
and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)).
    Nominations describing either public or private practice veterinary 
shortage situations are eligible for submission.
2. Authorized Respondents and Use of Consultation
    The only authorized respondent on behalf of each State is the chief 
State Animal Health Official (SAHO), as duly authorized by the Governor 
or the Governor's designee in each State. The only authorized 
respondent on behalf of the Federal Government is the Chief Federal 
Animal Health Officer (Deputy Administrator of Veterinary Services, the 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service or designee), as duly 
authorized by the Secretary of Agriculture. The eligible nominating 
official must submit nominations using the instructions provided in 
section A.4, FY 2020-2022 Shortage Situation Nomination Process. NIFA 
strongly encourages the nominating officials to involve leading health 
animal experts in the State in the identification and prioritization of 
shortage situation nominations.
3. State Allocation of Nominations
    NIFA will accept the number of nominations equivalent to the 
maximum number of designated shortage areas for each State. For 
historical background and more information on the rationale for capping 
nominations and State allocation method, visit https://nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp-nomination-and-designation-veterinary-shortage-situations.
    The maximum number of nominations (and potential designations) is 
based on data from the 2017 Agricultural Census conducted by the USDA 
National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Awards from previous 
years have no bearing on a State's maximum number of allowable shortage 
nomination submissions or designations in any given year, or number of 
nominations or designations allowed for subsequent years. NIFA reserves 
the right in the future to proportionally adjust the maximum number of 
designated shortage situations per State to ensure a balance between 
available funds and the requirement to ensure that priority is given to 
mitigating veterinary shortages corresponding to situations of greatest 
need. Nomination Allocation tables for FY 2020-2022 are available under 
the VMLRP Shortage Situations section of the VMLRP website at https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/vmlrp-shortage-allocations.
    Table I lists the maximum nomination allocations by State. Table II 
lists ``Special Consideration Areas'' which include any State or 
Insular Area not reporting data to NASS, reporting less than $1,000,000 
in annual Livestock and Livestock Products Total Sales ($), and/or 
possessing less than 500,000 acres. One nomination is allocated to any 
State or Insular Area classified as a Special Consideration Area.
    Table III shows the values and quartile ranks of States for two 
variables broadly correlated with demand for food supply veterinary 
services: ``Livestock and Livestock Products Total Sales ($)'' (LPTS) 
and ``Land Area (acres)'' (LA). The maximum number of NIFA-designated 
shortage situations per State is based on the sum of quartile rankings 
for LPTS and LA for each State and can be found in Table IV.
    While Federal Lands are widely dispersed within States and Insular 
Areas across the country, they constitute a composite total land area 
over twice the size of Alaska. If the 200-mile limit for U.S. coastal 
waters and associated fishery areas are included, Federal Land total 
acreage would exceed 1 billion. Both State and Federal Animal Health 
officials have responsibilities for matters relating to terrestrial and 
aquatic food animal health on Federal Lands. Interaction between 
wildlife and domestic livestock, such as sheep and cattle, is 
particularly common in the plains States where significant portions of 
Federal lands are leased for grazing. Therefore, both SAHOs and the 
Chief Federal Animal Health Officer (Deputy

[[Page 45712]]

Administrator of Veterinary Services, the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service or designee) may submit nominations to address 
shortage situations on or related to Federal Lands. Nominations related 
to Federal Lands submitted by SAHOs will count towards the maximum 
number of nominations for that individual state.
    NIFA emphasizes that the shortage nomination allocation is set to 
broadly balance the number of designated shortage situations across 
States prior to the nomination and award phases of the VMLRP and VSGP. 
Awards will be made based strictly on the peer review panels' 
assessment according to each program's review criteria; thus no State 
will be given a preference for placement of awardees. Additionally, 
each designated shortage situation will be limited to one award per 
program per year.
4. FY 2020-2022 Shortage Situation Nomination Process
    For the FY 2020-2022 program cycle, all eligible nominating 
officials submitting may, during each nomination period: (1) Request to 
retain designated status for any shortage situation successfully 
designated in the previous year and/or (2) submit new nominations. Any 
shortage from previous year not retained or submitted as a new 
nomination will not be considered a shortage situation in the next 
year. The total number of new nominations plus designated nominations 
retained (carried over) may not exceed the maximum number of 
nominations each eligible nominating official is permitted.
    The following process is the mechanism for retaining a designated 
nomination: Each nominating official should review the map of VMLRP 
designated shortage situations for the previous year--FY 2019's map can 
be found here: (https://go.usa.gov/xyd4K)- and download a PDF copy of 
the nomination form they wish to renew. If the nominating official 
wishes to retain (carry over) one or more designated nomination(s), the 
nominating official shall copy and paste the prior year information 
into the current year's nomination form and submit it to 
[email protected].
    Both new and retained nominations must be submitted on the 
Veterinary Shortage Situation Nomination form provided in the VMLRP 
Shortage Situations section at https://nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp-shortage-situations.
    Nominations retained (carried over) will be designated without 
review unless major changes in content are identified during 
administrative processing or the shortage has been retained for three 
years. Major changes in content or shortages already retained for three 
consecutive years will be treated as new submissions and undergo merit 
review.
5. Submission and Due Date
    Submissions must be made by downloading the Veterinarian Shortage 
Situation nomination form provided in the VMLRP Shortage Situations 
section at https://nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp-shortage-situations, completing 
the fillable PDF form, and submitting it via email to: 
[email protected].
    Both new and retained (carry-over) nominations must be submitted on 
or before the deadlines listed in the table below.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       First day to submit         Last day to submit
    Fiscal year        shortage nominations       shortage nominations
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020..............  October 7, 2019..........  November 11, 2019.
2021..............  October 5, 2020..........  November 9, 2020.
2022..............  October 4, 2021..........  November 8, 2021.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

7. Period Covered
    Each shortage situation is approved for one program year cycle 
only. However, any previously approved shortage situation not filled in 
a given program year may be resubmitted as a retained (carry-over) 
nomination. Retained (carry-over) shortage nominations (without any 
revisions) will be automatically approved for up to three years before 
requiring another merit review. By resubmitting a carry-over 
nomination, the nominating official is affirming that in his or her 
professional judgment the original case made for shortage status, and 
the original description of needs, remain current and accurate. 
Shortage situations where an award was made, if still considered 
shortages, may be resubmitted as new nominations.
8. Definitions
    For the purpose of implementing the solicitation for veterinary 
shortage situations, the definitions provided in 7 CFR part 3431 are 
applicable.

B. Nomination Form

    The VMLRP Shortage Nomination Form must be used to nominate 
veterinarian shortage situations. Once designated as a shortage 
situation, VMLRP applicants will use the information to select shortage 
situations they are willing and qualified to fill, and to guide the 
preparation of their applications. NIFA will use the information to 
assess contractual compliance of awardees. The form is available in the 
VMLRP Shortage Situations section at https://nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp-shortage-situations. See Part II A. 5. above for submission 
information. Detailed directions for each field can be found at https://nifa.usda.gov/resource/vmlrp-veterinarian-shortage-situation-nomination-form-form-nifa-2009-0001.

C. NIFA Review of Shortage Situation Nominations

1. Review Panel Composition and Process
    NIFA will convene a panel of food supply veterinary medicine 
experts from some or all of the following groups: Federal and/or State 
agencies, and institutions receiving Animal Health and Disease Research 
Program funds under section 1433 of NARETPA, to review the nominations 
and make recommendations to the NIFA Program Manager. NIFA will review 
the panel's recommendations and designate the VMLRP shortage 
situations. The list of approved shortage situations will be made 
available on the VMLRP website at www.nifa.usda.gov/vmlrp.
2. Review Criteria
    Criteria used by the shortage situation nomination review panel and 
NIFA for certifying a veterinary shortage situation will be consistent 
with the information requested in the shortage situations nomination 
form. NIFA understands the process for defining the risk landscape 
associated with veterinary service shortages within a State may require 
consideration of many qualitative and quantitative factors. In 
addition, each shortage situation will be characterized by a different 
array of subjective and objective supportive information that must be 
developed into a cogent case identifying, characterizing, and 
justifying a given geographic or disciplinary area as deficient in 
certain

[[Page 45713]]

types of veterinary capacity or service. To accommodate the uniqueness 
of each shortage situation, the nomination form provides opportunities 
to present a case using both supportive metrics and narrative 
explanations to define and explain the proposed need.
    While NIFA anticipates some arguments made in support of a given 
shortage situation will be qualitative, respondents are encouraged to 
present verifiable quantitative and qualitative evidentiary information 
wherever possible. Absence of sufficient data to support a shortage 
such as animal and veterinarian census data for the proposed shortage 
area(s), or sufficient information regarding the characteristics of the 
shortage so that applicants may prepare successful applications and 
panelists are able to fully evaluate the fit of the applicant to the 
shortage area, may lead the panel to recommend revision of the shortage 
nomination to address these issues. If the revisions are not addressed, 
the shortage nominations will not be approved.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 20th day of August, 2019.
Steve Censky,
Deputy Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 2019-18803 Filed 8-29-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-22-P