A lot of ideas but no silver bullet emerged from a recent roundtable discussion on the veterinarian shortage in Iowa’s rural communities, especially those who specialize in food animals.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig visited Southern Hills Veterinary Services in Corning late last month, meeting with clinic owner Scott Shuey; Dan Grooms, dean of the Iowa State University (ISU) College of Veterinary Medicine; Shawn Nicholson, president of the Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine; and Iowa’s State Veterinarian Jeff Kaisand.

“I knew this was a complex issue, but it’s really complex,” Naig said following the meeting. “There is high demand for these jobs in our rural communities, and certainly it’s worth trying to understand what we can do to improve the situation.”

Shuey, who has owned and managed Southern Hills Veterinary...