LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - After Texas A&M University spent decades serving as the state’s only veterinarian school, the Texas Legislature has earmarked more than $17 million for Texas Tech University to establish its own veterinary medicine school.
Dr. Bradley Clary, a mixed-animal veterinary practitioner who graduated from Texas A&M University and practices in Lufkin, said the decision will benefit the state’s future vets, as well as owners of large animals and livestock.
“It’s going to fill a large hole in our industry,” Clary said. “There’s a lot of large animal need in Texas, agricultural need in East Texas, in West Texas, in Central Texas, and this school is going to fill that particular void.”
The research and literature that helped secure Tech’s funding for a vet school revealed that while A&M’s program does not train enough large-animal vetrs to meet demand in rural areas. Clary supported these findings by expressing there was a “huge shortage” of practitioners in the East Texas area.
“[Tech’s school] is going to be very oriented towards large animals,” Clary added. “[Helping] rural practitioners to go to rural areas, hopefully, to fill the void and the need where they’re just in a dire need with a shortage of large-animal veterinarians to help take care of that industry.”
Tech still needs approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and from a third-party accreditor for its academic program. The institution hopes to enroll its first class in 2021.