The University of Arizona has added a 45-acre ranch to the array of facilities awaiting students when the nation’s 31st veterinary college opens.
The Steele Foundation reported last week that it is donating DK Ranch to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which anticipates welcoming 100 students to the new Veterinary Medical and Surgical Program in August 2016. The program’s original 2015 start-up date was moved back pending a site visit this winter by the Council on Education, which accredits colleges of veterinary medicine.
The ranch, valued at $2.5 million, is located southwest of Sedona, Ariz.
“Our schools and departments will utilize DK Ranch to complement existing programs at the UA and to create new ones specifically related to the region,” said Shane Burgess, Ph.D., dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “The DK Ranch allows us to offer experiential learning and research opportunities to our students.”
Among those benefiting from the gift will be UA’s School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences.
“We are confident that the DK Ranch is in great hands,” said Marianne Cracchiolo Mago, president of the Phoenix-based Steele Foundation.
“The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is poised to break barriers in the field of agriculture, and we look forward to a continued partnership with the University of Arizona.”
Arizona’s veterinary program will be centered on the main campus in Tucson. Students will receive clinical training at dozens of participating veterinary practices and at a handful of satellite locations, including a Douglas, Ariz., animal shelter that UA purchased in December.
The distributive education model replaces a traditional on-campus teaching hospital.
UA will not accept veterinary student applications until after the site visit takes place in late January, just seven months before classes are set to begin.
Despite the late start, UA won’t have trouble filling its seats, Burgess said. He predicted that at least some students now applying to the nation’s other veterinary schools will end up in Tucson.
The application deadline at 29 U.S. veterinary schools is Sept. 15. Texas A&M University, which does not use the Veterinary Medical College Application Service, has an Oct. 1 cut-off date.