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Thu, Nov. 21

University of Arizona to offer veterinary medicine program in Rimrock next year

US Senators Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema have proposed a bipartisan land exchange that would grant the University of Arizona ownership of a 13.3-acre piece of land at the V-Bar-V Ranch. Pictured, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, on the V-Bar-V Ranch. That land, should the property swap take place, would be used for the University’s veterinary medicine program. VVN/Bill Helm

US Senators Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema have proposed a bipartisan land exchange that would grant the University of Arizona ownership of a 13.3-acre piece of land at the V-Bar-V Ranch. Pictured, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, on the V-Bar-V Ranch. That land, should the property swap take place, would be used for the University’s veterinary medicine program. VVN/Bill Helm

RIMROCK – In August, US Senators Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema proposed a land swap between the University of Arizona and the U.S. Forest Service that would allow the university to own land to be used for its veterinary medicine program.

The land that the University of Arizona would acquire – 13.3 acres – is on the site of the V-Bar-V Ranch in Rimrock and is used for the University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Although the property swap has not officially happened yet, the University is making plans to open its new College of Veterinary Medicine in fall 2020, according to Marta Coursey, chief of staff to the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

A private institution, Midwestern University’s Glendale campus has a veterinary school. But the University of Arizona would be the state’s first public university to have a veterinary medicine school.

Coursey said that the university has not released plans for how the College of Veterinary Medicine would utilize the Rimrock land. However, an Aug. 13 press release from McSally’s office stated that the legislation would allow the University of Arizona to own the Rimrock site “outright in order to add new buildings and required infrastructure to house students” who would participate in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The University, Coursey said, is “very focused on preparing for the next three- to six-month window with respect to our first fall semester and the arrival of students.”

Although the U of A is expected to offer veterinary medicine programming at the Rimrock site, the veterinary college’s home base will be in Oro Valley.

Since 1995, the University of Arizona has operated its College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the V-Bar-V Ranch.

According to the University of Arizona website, the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program would provide “a strong foundation in veterinary medicine and surgery while interweaving the professional and clinical skills critical for future success.”

The program’s graduates would understand veterinary medicine “in the context of the whole animal, the environment and society,” the website stated.

In exchange for the 13.3 acres at V-Bar-V, the USFS would acquire an equally-valued parcel of land from Mahan Park, according to the press release from McSally’s office.

More information about the College of Veterinary Medicine can be found at vetmed.arizona.edu.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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