veterinary student with dairy calf
Manitoba's five additional seats in the WCVM's Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program will be earmarked for ag-focused students. Photo: Christina Weese.

Manitoba government reserves seats for ag-focused students

The Government of Manitoba announced on Oct. 7 that the province’s five additional seats at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) will be aimed at students with rural backgrounds who plan on returning to rural veterinary practice and supporting livestock and poultry industries.

By WCVM Today

This news comes one week after the Manitoba government announced an increase in provincial funding to educate veterinarians at the WCVM. With more funding, Manitoba will add five seats to the province’s annual quota of seats in the college’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program for a total of 20 seats (fall 2023 entry).

“Our government has invested in this new strategy to address the critical shortage of veterinarians providing care for commercial livestock and poultry operations in rural Manitoba,” said Manitoba Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson. “The agricultural sector is vital to our provincial economy, and we are committed to providing support to address the sector’s needs.” 

Johnson made the announcement at a mixed animal veterinary clinic in the community of Ste. Rose du Lac, located northwest of Winnipeg. He was joined by Dr. Gillian Muir, WCVM dean, as well as representatives from the local community and the agricultural industry. Dr. Deanne Wilkinson, a 2012 graduate of the WCVM and an extension veterinarian with the province's Ministry of Agriculture based in Ste. Rose du Lac, was also at the event. 

Left to right: Dori Gingera-Beauchemin, Manitoba's deputy minister of agriculture; Tyler Fulton, president, Manitoba Beef Producers; Dr. Deanne Wilkinson (DVM'12), extension veterinarian, Manitoba Ministry of Agriculture and WCVM graduate; Robert Brunel, mayor, Municipality of Ste. Rose; Jill Verwey, vice-president, Keystone Agricultural Producers; the Honourable Derek Johnston, Manitoba's minister of agriculture, Dr. Gillian Muir, WCVM dean; and Brad Michaleski, MLA of Dauphin, Man. Photo: Dr. Steve Manning.

Students selected for Manitoba’s agriculture-focused seats must have an interest in pursuing veterinary medicine in the livestock industry in rural Manitoba, success in a university-level animal science program and documented experience with the livestock and poultry industries.

More details about the agriculture-focused seats, which will be filled for the 2023-24 academic year, can be found on the WCVM’s admissions site.

“This is an important step toward addressing the shortage of veterinarians in rural Manitoba,” said Tyler Fulton, president of Manitoba Beef Producers. “We appreciate the focus on recruiting students who have a direct interest and first-hand experience in working with animals, and who have been raised in a rural environment. We thank the provincial government for its investment in training more vets.”

Read the news release on the Government of Manitoba’s website for more information on this announcement.