USU breaks ground for state's first veterinary college


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LOGAN — Utah State University broke ground Friday for Utah's first veterinary college, marking a major milestone.

Previously, students would study for two years at Utah State and then finish vet school at Washington State University. This new campus building will provide space for students to research and train in the world of animal health.

"For our size, it seems impossible that we should have these colleges and universities," Gov. Spencer Cox, a Utah State alum, said at the groundbreaking ceremony. "We have a medical school, amazing business schools, and law, but there has always been a piece missing, and it didn't make sense. Now we are finally closing that gap."

Cox and other state and USU officials hope that the new school will encourage graduates to stay and practice in the state, alleviating the veterinarian shortage.

"That's something I'm most excited about — the opportunity to get some of our homegrown talent and keep them here," Cox said. "Some kids who will come back, who will make the sacrifice, who know they won't make as much money, but will be able to keep agriculture alive and thriving in our state."

This has been a project years in the making, made possible by the efforts of those like John Mathis, a former member of the Utah House of Representatives.

Mathis said the inspiration came from his father, who was unable to fulfill his dream of becoming a veterinarian because there was no program in Utah. Mathis wanted to help provide that opportunity for education to everyone — especially those in rural areas.

"I had promised myself that if I was ever in a position where I could help Utah kids follow their dream, and not have to leave home so far and not be under such circumstance to have to make those choices, that I would do that," he said. "This is just the beginning step. Come back in 20 years, and see what this has led to and you'll be amazed."

Construction for the state-funded building is expected to be complete by summer 2026. It will cost an estimated $77 million.

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Emma Benson
Emma Benson is a storyteller and broadcast media professional, passionate about sharing truthful, meaningful stories that will impact communities. She graduated with a journalism degree from BYU, and has worked as a morning news anchor with KIFI News Group in Idaho Falls. She joined the KSL-TV team in October 2023.

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