The National Association of Federal Veterinarians (NAFV) has served federally employed veterinarians for more than 90 years. NAFV was formed in 1918 during a meeting of the American Veterinary Medical Association by a small group of veterinarians with USDA's Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI). As an association of supervisors and managers, the NAFV has an official consultative relationship with the Department of Agriculture. It is recognized as the representative organization for veterinarians employed by the federal government. NAFV's national headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. The staff there includes an Executive Vice President and a Junior Staffer. This location allows NAFV to easily collaborate with the AVMA government relations division on legislative matters affecting veterinarians and with other groups in the Washington Dc area. This collaborative relationship helps in getting federal veterinary issues heard and acted upon.
The NAFV also has a General Counsel, an attorney who is located in a separate office. Our General Counsel provides advice and assistance with issues involving legal matters and personnel issues. In addition, NAFV has worked with insurance companies to provide specially designed liability insurance for federal veterinarians.
One of NAFV’s primary goals is to prevent problems before they occur. This is accomplished through consultations and meetings with agencies, coalitions, and by frequent and early actions taken on behalf of the membership when issues are found. The mere existence of NAFV as a strong organized entity is quite beneficial because officials know that someone is watching and is willing and able to help solve problems. Some departmental actions that we would consider detrimental are not attempted purely because of anticipated NAFV opposition.
The NAFV also provides other meaningful direct and indirect benefits to its members. Services include:
- Legal advice for individual members dealing with work-related problems.
- Closely monitoring Congressional and Administration activities through the headquarters staff and taking appropriate action to support members’ positions.
- Apprising or educating key people in Departments, Congress, the AVMA and other organizations about the professional opinions, the concerns and/or the needs of federal veterinarians.
- Forming alliances with the AVMA and other public health and veterinary medical organizations in areas of mutual concern.
- Maintaining direct and productive consultation with agency management through our National Board of Regional Representatives. This appointed board serves as liaison between top USDA management and NAFV members in professional matters, personnel policy development, working conditions, etc. Field representatives are appointed to assist in matters of local concern.
- Through coalitions with several organizations and associations, constantly working for better public services for job and career protection and for better pay and retirement benefits and better recognition for your valuable work.
- Keeping members informed about professional, legislative and administration matters via a monthly publication, the Federal Veterinarian.
- Providing continuing education through its constituent body, the American Academy of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, which sponsors seminars with published proceedings.
- Administering the NAFV Memorial Scholarship/Loan Fund, which provides members with the opportunity to honor departed family or friends by assisting worthy sons or daughters of NAFV members in their veterinary education.
- Providing professional and social fellowship through participation in local chapter, regional and national meetings.
- Assisting with continuing education programs for members.
- Providing an outstanding Professional Federal Liability Insurance Program that provides protection from personal lawsuits resulting from the acts, omissions or decisions made within the scope of federal employment.
- Funding and administering the Dr. Daniel E. Salmon Award. This award (a plaque and a check for $500.00) is presented annually to a federally employed veterinarian by the Secretary of Agriculture. It recognizes outstanding contributions and notable service in the public’s interest.
- Finally, NAFV offers you an opportunity to be part of organized veterinary medicine and to support your profession.