U of M partners with South Dakota to address rural veterinary care shortage

South Dakota State University is building a new veterinary program with the University of Minnesota to address a rural care shortage in the region.

SDSU's dean of agriculture, John Killefer, tells the Argus Leader that South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem approved the partnership Friday, allowing the schools to begin the accreditation process.

Killefer says SDSU plans to end its current veterinary program with Iowa State University in August 2021. 

He says the new program will allow 20 students to complete their first two years of courses at SDSU and the remaining two years at the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine in St. Paul. 

Killefer says the partnership aims to fill a care shortage in rural areas. He says less than 2% of practicing veterinarians go into rural care.