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USDA, DHS inaugurate national biological and agricultural defense facility

MANHATTAN, KS, May 24, 2023 – Today, officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) celebrated Inauguration and ribbon cutting of the National Biological and Agricultural Defense Facility (NBAF). The facility offers the highest level of biocontainment laboratories and safety protocols, the first of its kind in the United States, and will allow scientists to study and diagnose serious animal diseases.

“America’s farmers, ranchers, and consumers rely on our researchers to understand, monitor, and develop solutions to combat a wide range of high-consequence animal pathogens, and at this scale The facility allows us to respond,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This new innovative facility will give USDA scientists access to cutting-edge, safe and secure technologies that will allow them to continue to lead the world in animal health research, training and diagnostics to protect our food supply, farm economy and public health.”

The invaluable scientific information provided by NBAF researchers will also allow the United States to continue to be a major contributor to countermeasures to protect global agriculture, economies, and citizens.

NBAF will replace the Department of Homeland Security’s Plum Island Animal Disease Center, a Level 3 biosecurity facility in New York that has existed for more than 68 years. The two departments have collaborated on the requirements for this next-generation science facility since 2006, and Manhattan, Kansas was selected as the site of choice for NBAF in 2009. The Department of Homeland Security led the design and construction of NBAF, and the USDA will own and operate the facility.

“NBAF is a historic investment in agriculture and our country to ensure the health, safety and security of America’s food supply,” said USDA Undersecretary and Chief Scientist Chavonda Jacobs -Young said. “As the first facility of its kind in the United States, the innovative and cutting-edge solutions that our scientists and partners can produce here will lead efforts to protect public health and combat emerging diseases for many years to come.”

“This new facility underscores USDA’s commitment to taking all possible steps to protect the United States from transboundary, emerging and zoonotic animal diseases,” said USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Moffitt (Jenny Moffitt) said. “With investments like this, we can ensure our nation has the tools to keep the American people and our farm animals safe, and prevent diseases that are costly to farmers.”

has 400 NBAF’s operational responsibilities will be shared between multiple employees, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). ARS will primarily focus on research to understand high-consequence and emerging animal diseases and develop countermeasures, such as vaccines and antivirals. APHIS will focus on preventing, monitoring, diagnosing and responding to these diseases, including managing two vaccine banks and training state and federal veterinarians with the expertise to recognize livestock diseases.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the facility today underscored the support of the state and local communities. Manhattan Mayor Mark Hatesohl, Kansas State University President Dr. Richard Linton, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, US Senator Jerry Moran and former US Senator Pat Roberts also addressed the crowd at the ceremony.

Minister of Agriculture Tom Vilsack delivered closing remarks. Dr. Simon Liu, USDA ARS Administrator, also moderated the conversation with Jenny Lester Moffitt, USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs; Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics; and Julie Brewer, Executive Director, Innovation and Collaboration, DHS S&T. Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Program Katie Zenk also participated in the program.

Academic Institutions,” said NBAF Director Dr. Alfonso Clavijo. “NBAF will create opportunities between scientists and animal health companies to strengthen and accelerate the transition of new veterinary countermeasures from research to market, to protect the nation’s agriculture in times of need. ”

Adjacent to Kansas State University’s 48-acre NBAF campus on the western edge of the nation’s largest concentration of animal health companies, with a total floor area of ​​over 700,000 square feet. The main building occupies 500,000 square feet , including containment laboratories, animal holding facilities, office space, facility support areas, and required safety systems – such as redundant HEPA filters and waste decontamination systems.


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