Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine announcements scheduled for today

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Today the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation will meet at 11 a.m. to discuss funding for the new Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo.

The Amarillo City Council will also meet today at 3 p.m. to discuss the future plans for the school.

A press conference is schedule for 5:15 this afternoon.

Construction of the school could start in 2019, with students starting the program in 2021.

NewsChannel 10 will have full coverage throughout the day.

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Amarillo Veterinary School Steering Committee chairman Jason Herrick stopped by The Early Show to answer some questions regarding plans and the local impact of the new school.

What does the proposal for the TT Vet School entail?

Amarillo has a long partnership for health sciences with Texas Tech. We already have a medical school and a top rated pharmaceutical school that generates a tremendous amount of economic activity for the city. This will be a third leg to that stool and provide a new full fledged 4 year School of Veterinary Medicine. At its completion, Amarillo will be the only place in the nation that has Animal Health, Human Health and a Pharmaceutical School all on the same campus.

What does that mean for the City?

As you know, many of the ground breaking drugs that service the human health industry, from vaccines to disease prevention, get their start with research and trials on animals. The associated research facility that is part of this proposal will be truly world class and represent a differentiating factor for the Texas Panhandle that captures a new horizon for us. With this facility, Amarillo will be a beacon for the top researchers in the world and could become the ideal place to potentially discover the next cancer treatment or the next cognitive treatment. The potential is limitless.

Why Amarillo? Why not someplace else?

The truth of the matter is that Amarillo is uniquely positioned (both geographically but also at this point in time) to take advantage of an amazing opportunity. The Animal Health industry is a 34.5 billion dollar industry and industry that is growing at 5% per year. The Texas Panhandle is center punch of that industry as it relates to cattle,dairy, and pork production; an industry that has expanding needs for food safety and animal health.

Why partner with Texas Tech?

Texas Tech is employing a unique curriculum that is built to attract vets with a large animal emphasis to the rural areas that we need them most. They are basing it off of a model developed in Calgary, Alberta that leverages private clinics and industry partners to put students in the field sooner. By using these partners, we can also lower the cost of the education and pass that savings on to the students so that they can obtain degrees less of a debt burden.

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