Murray State University in Kentucky announced its Board of Regents will create a task force and begin a feasibility study to work toward the creation of a School of Veterinary Medicine. The task force will use the study to help examine the statewide shortage of veterinary professionals within the state.

According to the organizational release,1 since there is currently no school of veterinary medicine in Kentucky, 70 students from the state are accepted to out of state veterinary schools. By creating a veterinary school within the state, the hope is that future veterinarians will attend school here and then stay in Kentucky to help care for animals.

“I am grateful to our Board of Regents for adopting this resolution of support as we look toward this opportunity of researching and pursuing a School of Veterinary Medicine at Murray State University. Statistics indicate that there are an insufficient number of veterinarians to meet the growing needs both within Kentucky as well as nationally,” said Bob Jackson, EdD, Murray State University President, in the release.1 “Further, a significant number of students in the Commonwealth are attending out-of-state universities to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. We have a tremendous obligation to continue to identify needs and create opportunities for our region and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”


“Importantly, we will work with the General Assembly, Governor; Commissioner of Agriculture; Council on Postsecondary Education; Kentucky’s federal congressional delegation and state, local and federal agencies, among others as we advance this initiative,” he continued.

Murray State’s Hudson School of Agriculture has the largest estimated pre-veterinary medicine and veterinary technology enrollment of all the universities in Kentucky as well as being 1 of 3 programs in the state that is fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The school is also home to the Breathitt Veterinary Center which is a nationally preeminent animal disease diagnostic laboratory.1 The center is dedicated to protecting the equine, livestock, and poultry industries in Kentucky and is the only Level 1 Laboratory Status designated by the USDA National Animal Health Laboratory system.

“I am very excited about this potential opportunity for our students and for our state,” said Brian Parr, PhD, Murray State University Hutson School of Agriculture dean. “This effort represents a great need in the field of animal agriculture. The pre-vet/vet tech program in the Hutson School of Agriculture has long been a program of excellence that has seen great growth over the last two decades. I believe that this initiative is the next logical step in the development of our school to help meet the needs of the agricultural industry.”


Murray State to examine development of School of Veterinary Medicine. News release. Murray State University. August 25, 2023. Accessed September 8, 2023. https://www.murraystate.edu/news/posts/school_of_veterinary_medicine.aspx