Monetary pledge from Cactus Feeders helping Texas Tech vet school

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Texas Tech Veterinary School coming to Amarillo has received funds that will allow them to take the next step to make the school a reality.

"When you drive on to this campus, I think you'll get a sense of what partnership between Texas Tech and Amarillo has developed," says Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec.

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Progress of the Texas Tech vet school is moving along thanks to an early pledge from Cactus Feeders for an undisclosed amount of money.

"This was a group that was willing to commit very early on in the project," said Chairman of the Leadership Development Team for Amarillo Jason Herrick. "[They] get us to that next stage where you can start showing renderings, and drawings, and you can see stakes in the ground."

Stakes and cones mark a proposed footprint site for the building.

Cactus Feeders Co-CEO Paul Defoor says this is the first step in ensuring the future success of the industry.

"At our corporate level, as we go about training our leaders for tomorrow," said Defoor. "[Future leaders] have to be competent and confident decision makers that understand the science behind their decisions. [They understand] the implications, the broader implications, of food production and animal well-being that result from those."

Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson hopes the vet school will help keep age-old industries thriving in the Panhandle.

"The impact of this project is state-wide, really nation-wide," said Mayor Nelson. "I think [it's great] for the state of Texas, who is so business friendly, and so willing to change and innovate in order for us to stay front, cutting-edge with regard to the industries that we've spent generations building."

For Defoor, the vet school's importance is two-fold.

"One is strictly, internally to Cactus Feeders. We see that clear and present demand each day. But, also for our broader industry, it's there. As well as reinforcing the importance and the track record that this institution, Texas Tech, has on the standards of living and quality of life for people of the Texas Panhandle."

The vet school still has to get the blessing of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Legislature.

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