In this section:
(1) Qualified entity
The term "qualified entity" means—
(A) a for-profit or nonprofit entity located in the United States that, or an individual who, operates a veterinary clinic providing veterinary services—
(i) in a rural area, as defined in section 1991(a) of this title; and
(ii) in a veterinarian shortage situation;
(B) a State, national, allied, or regional veterinary organization or specialty board recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association;
(C) a college or school of veterinary medicine accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association;
(D) a university research foundation or veterinary medical foundation;
(E) a department of veterinary science or department of comparative medicine accredited by the Department of Education;
(F) a State agricultural experiment station; or
(G) a State, local, or tribal government agency.
(2) Veterinarian shortage situation
The term "veterinarian shortage situation" means a veterinarian shortage situation as determined by the Secretary under section 3151a of this title.
(b) Establishment (1) Competitive grants
The Secretary shall carry out a program to make competitive grants to qualified entities that carry out programs or activities described in paragraph (2) for the purpose of developing, implementing, and sustaining veterinary services.
(2) Eligibility requirements
A qualified entity shall be eligible to receive a grant described in paragraph (1) if the entity carries out programs or activities that the Secretary determines will—
(A) substantially relieve veterinarian shortage situations;
(B) support or facilitate private veterinary practices engaged in public health activities; or
(C) support or facilitate the practices of veterinarians who are providing or have completed providing services under an agreement entered into with the Secretary under section 3151a(a)(2) of this title.
(c) Award processes and preferences (1) Application, evaluation, and input processes
In administering the grant program established under this section, the Secretary shall—
(A) use an appropriate application and evaluation process, as determined by the Secretary; and
(B) seek the input of interested persons.
(2) Coordination preference
In selecting recipients of grants to be used for any of the purposes described in subsection (d)(1), the Secretary shall give a preference to qualified entities that provide documentation of coordination with other qualified entities, with respect to any such purpose.
(3) Consideration of available funds
In selecting recipients of grants to be used for any of the purposes described in subsection (d), the Secretary shall take into consideration the amount of funds available for grants and the purposes for which the grant funds will be used.
(4) Nature of grants
A grant awarded under this section shall be considered to be a competitive research, extension, or education grant.
(d) Use of grants to relieve veterinarian shortage situations and support veterinary services (1) In general
Except as provided in paragraph (2), a qualified entity may use funds provided by a grant awarded under this section to relieve veterinarian shortage situations and support veterinary services for any of the following purposes:
(A) To promote recruitment (including for programs in secondary schools), placement, and retention of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, students of veterinary medicine, and students of veterinary technology.
(B) To allow veterinary students, veterinary interns, externs, fellows, and residents, and veterinary technician students to cover expenses (other than the types of expenses described in section 3151a(c)(5) of this title) to attend training programs in food safety or food animal medicine.
(C) To establish or expand accredited veterinary education programs (including faculty recruitment and retention), veterinary residency and fellowship programs, or veterinary internship and externship programs carried out in coordination with accredited colleges of veterinary medicine.
(D) To provide continuing education and extension, including veterinary telemedicine and other distance-based education, for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and other health professionals needed to strengthen veterinary programs and enhance food safety.
(E) To provide technical assistance for the preparation of applications submitted to the Secretary for designation as a veterinarian shortage situation under this section or section 3151a of this title.
(F) To expose students in grades 11 and 12 to education and career opportunities in food animal medicine.
(2) Qualified entities operating veterinary clinics
A qualified entity described in subsection (a)(1)(A) may only use funds provided by a grant awarded under this section to establish or expand veterinary practices, including—
(A) equipping veterinary offices;
(B) sharing in the reasonable overhead costs of such veterinary practices, as determined by the Secretary; or
(C) establishing mobile veterinary facilities in which a portion of the facilities will address education or extension needs.
(e) Special requirements for certain grants (1) Terms of service requirements (A) In general
Funds provided through a grant made under this section to a qualified entity described in subsection (a)(1)(A) and used by such entity under subsection (d)(2) shall be subject to an agreement between the Secretary and such entity that includes a required term of service for such entity (including a qualified entity operating as an individual), as established by the Secretary.
In establishing a term of service under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consider only—
(i) the amount of the grant awarded; and
(ii) the specific purpose of the grant.
(2) Breach remedies (A) In general
An agreement under paragraph (1) shall provide remedies for any breach of the agreement by the qualified entity referred to in paragraph (1)(A), including repayment or partial repayment of the grant funds, with interest.
The Secretary may grant a waiver of the repayment obligation for breach of contract if the Secretary determines that such qualified entity demonstrates extreme hardship or extreme need.
(C) Treatment of amounts recovered
Funds recovered under this paragraph shall—
(i) be credited to the account available to carry out this section; and
(ii) remain available until expended without further appropriation.
(f) Prohibition on use of grant funds for construction
Except as provided in subsection (d)(2), funds made available for grants under this section may not be used—
(1) to construct a new building or facility; or
(2) to acquire, expand, remodel, or alter an existing building or facility, including site grading and improvement and architect fees.
Not later than 1 year after February 7, 2014, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to carry out this section.
(h) Authorization of appropriations (1) In general
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2014 and each fiscal year thereafter, to remain available until expended.
From amounts made available for grants under this section, the Secretary shall prioritize grant awards for programs or activities with a focus on the practice of food animal medicine.
AMENDMENTS 2018—Subsec. (d)(1)(F). Pub. L. 115–334, §7106(1), added subpar. (F). Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 115–334, §7106(2), designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted heading, and added par. (2).
7 U.S.C. § 3151b (2018)