Sept. 25, 2023
Roanoke, VA – Facing a chronic farm animal veterinarian shortage, according to a National Institute of Food and Agriculture 2023 report, livestock farmers in Central and Southwest have historically had two options: forego critical preventative medicine or dole out hefty emergency fees for vets.
“Many regional producers have been on their own without veterinary support for so long that they end up ‘doctoring’ their own animals with reduced resources and training that could lead to further morbidity and mortality in their herds,” said Hannah Varnell, DVM, large animal veterinarian and founder and CEO of Wellfarm Veterinary Consultants, a fast-growing mobile veterinary practice serving Virginia.
Varnell’s mobile veterinary clinic was recently awarded a $125,000 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Practice Enhancement grant, enabling her to expand mobile wellness and herd health services across Virginia for cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, camelids, and backyard poultry.
“These USDA grants are highly competitive, and I congratulate Wellfarm Veterinary Consultants on being selected for the award,” said Virginia’s State Veterinarian and director of Virginia’s Division of Animal and Food Industry Services, Charles Broaddus. “It can be difficult for food animal veterinarians to provide the needed services across the large geographic area that many of them serve, and this grant can help food animal veterinarians more effectively help the producers in their area.”
Wellfarm Veterinary Consultants, which opened a year ago, already has over 200 clients, serving thousands of animals across the region. The new grant will help the practice grow its workload capacity and invest in new equipment, including a humane livestock handling facility, portable cattle chute, and laboratory equipment for rapid in-house diagnostics.
“Our top priority is animal health and welfare, but we also want to keep costs as low as possible for our clients and maximize their production outputs. Healthy animals are more productive and profitable. This funding will help us optimize our efficiency and overall standard of care while improving access to veterinary care for hundreds of farming operations across Virginia,” Varnell said.
Headquartered in Roanoke, Wellfarm Veterinary Consultants offers individual animal health, herd health planning, telehealth, online prescriptions, critical and emergency care, and at-home euthanasia services.
Whitney Slightham, PR Coordinator
Hannah Varnell, DVM, Founder and CEO, Wellfarm Veterinary Consultants