May 2017 Issue - page 1

Vol. 24 No. 5
Our 24th Year
May 2017
LANC., PA 17604
(Continued on page 13)
Equine health care, nutrition, therapy,
pest control feature … pgs. 14-23
Spring Real Estate Showcase: Horse
farms to drool over… pgs. 24-27
Locally trained Irish War Cry is a
Kentucky Derby favorite … pg. 7
Grand Manan wins again at Brandy-
wine Hills Point to Point … pg. 30
… and much more!
By Suzanne Bush
Pennsylvania’s fiscal house
is not in order. It’s now esti-
mated that the state will end the
fiscal year with a $700 million
Of course, this is not the
first year that the state has found
itself in this position. With a
legislature adamantly opposed
to raising taxes, and a rainy-day
fund that is chronically under-
funded, Pennsylvania is losing
ground. From rising pension
costs to Medicaid, Pennsylva-
nia has acquired a seemingly
intractable assortment of costly
programs. Rebuffed repeatedly
when he proposed tax increases
on various services and on the
state’s fracking industry, Gover-
nor Wolf has proposed a budget
seeking to address the revenue
challenges dogging Pennsylva-
nia. It includes modest spending
increases, a tax on fracking, and
expense reductions that shocked
many in the state’s agricultural
Currently the state provides
$30 million annually to help fund
the University of Pennsylvania’s
New Bolton Center. That funding
is eliminated in Wolf’s proposed
“Farm families are troubled
by the proposed loss of state
funding to Penn Vet (the New
Bolton Center),” Pennsylvania
Farm Bureau President Rick
Ebert said in a news conference.
The University of Pennsylvania
maintains the New Bolton Cen-
ter, the large animal veterinary
hospital near Kennett Square,
as well as the Ryan Veterinary
Hospital for small animals in
Citing the critical role the
New Bolton Center plays in the
state’s agriculture industry, Ebert
pointed out his group’s concern
about the ability to identify and
Governor’s Budget Proposal Zeros Funding for New Bolton Center
protect Pennsylvania farms from
serious health threats such as avi-
an influenza. Mark O’Neill, the
Farm Bureau’s Director of Media
and Strategic Communications
said that farmers from all over
the state had met with legislators
recently to express their concerns
about numerous issues affecting
agriculture. High on their list of
concerns was the funding cut to
New Bolton Center.
Support for New Bolton
and Outrage About Plan
Joan C. Hendricks, D.V.M.
is the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean at
the School of Veterinary Medi-
cine at the University of Pennsyl-
vania. She says she remains op-
timistic that the funding will not
be cut. “One of the things we’re
happiest about is both bipartisan
support and outrage when the
Department of Agriculture was
presenting its budget,” she says.
An army of students, farmers,
lobbyists and veterinarians has
been making the case for New
Bolton Center in Harrisburg. As
the state and the nation grapple
with a looming shortage of large
animal veterinarians, Hendricks
likes to remind legislators that
nearly three-quarters of the
state’s veterinarians are Penn
She says that the state’s
ambivalent support for New
Bolton has affected enrollment,
though. “We’re having trouble
filling our student class. They’re
withdrawing because they don’t
see support from the state.” And
given the economic importance
of agriculture in Pennsylva-
nia, how would a large animal
veterinarian shortage impact the
state’s farmers? “If you think it’s
expensive to run a vet school,
what do you think the cost of
disease outbreaks would be?”
Hendricks asks.
The Farm Bureau’s O’Neill
says the consequences of a
veterinarian shortage are already
starting to appear. “You do have
vets out there, but how far are
they able to travel? You may
have several vets in one county,
and some day you may have
one vet in three counties.” His
organization has created an
endowment scholarship program
for large animal veterinarians.
“Even with full funding to Penn
Vet, and the endowment we’ve
created there’s still a concern
One component of the infrastructure that makes eastern Pennsylvania one of the top regions for horses nationwide is New Bolton Cen-
ter, one of the nation’s top veterinary hospitals. Nearly three quarters of the state’s veterinarians are Penn graduates, but the proposed
elimination of funding is causing students to withdraw.
Photo credit: Penn Vet
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