Exploring the Economic Impact and Drivers of Rural Veterinary Businesses Throughout the United States

Principal Investigator: Clinton Neill

Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences
Grant Number: 2022-67024-37043
Title: Exploring the Economic Impact and Drivers of Rural Veterinary Businesses Throughout the United States
Project Amount: $650,000
Project Period: August 2022 to August 2026

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): 

Veterinary businesses and entrepreneurs play a critical role in protecting both human and animal health. Rural veterinary enterprises are an important facet of the veterinary industry because they also contribute to maintaining a safe food supply and bolster rural economies. However, there has been a declining trend of rural veterinary entrepreneurs that places the U.S. food supply at risk. There is no clear understanding of the economic contribution that veterinary entrepreneurs bring to rural communities, nor the market forces that affect their economic success. This project aims to address these issues from a multifaceted approach. Specifically, this research project aims to determine the economic contribution of veterinary business in rural communities in comparison to their urban counterparts. Additionally, the research objectives will identify the market forces that are contributing to the economic hardship and shortages currently experienced across the rural veterinary industry. Specifically, we will use Industry Contribution Analysis to determine direct, indirect, and induced effects of veterinary business in local communities; spatial econometric analysis to determine competitiveness of firms and identify shortage areas; firm surveys to determine broadband infrastructure availability and usage; and price analysis of firms and consumer demand to analyze market equilibrium for specific services. The activities proposed here are significant because stakeholders in the veterinary industries have expressed the need for a deeper understanding of rural veterinary business viability. This proposal responds to the “Rural Economic Development Priority Area” (A1661) by providing a deeper understanding of the economic contributions and drivers of rural veterinary business success.