Ribbon Cutting for New National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke at the ribbon cutting of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas. The facility will replace the 68-year-old Plum Island Animal Disease Center where USDA conducts foreign animal disease research, training and diagnostics.
Vilsack… “The research that's going to be done here is in fact, critically important to protect American agriculture. We can protect its ability to produce and produce safely. We’re talking about not just food supply and the national security implications of that. We’re also talking about economic security. Obviously, this is going to have a profound impact on the local economy as well. This is a state that understands appreciates and respects agriculture, and that's the kind of state, that should have a facility like this because I'm confident you'll make sure every single day this facility does its job for American farmers, ranchers and producers, and for all of our great country.”
The facility offers the highest level of biocontainment laboratories and safety protocols and is the first of its kind in the United States that will allow scientists to study and diagnose animal diseases.
Vilsack… “You were extremely lucky to have Pat Roberts, where he was advocating so often so forcefully and so passionately for this project. Trust me, I was on the other end of a lot of that. Mr. Chairman, on behalf of all the people this great country, as important as this project is for Kansas, it's important for the United States, it's important for the world, and we, the collective we, owe you a special debt of gratitude.”
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate built the facility to meet standards that fulfill the mission needs of the USDA.