From Plum Island to Kansas
Since 1954, the Plum Island Animal Disease Center served as the nation’s premier defense against accidental or intentional introduction of foreign animal diseases including foot-and-mouth disease and African Swine Fever.
Multiple years of work have gone into replacing that facility and now the USDA is ready to officially do so. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke at the ribbon cutting of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas, last week…
“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.
In accordance with a 2019 MOU between Department of Homeland Security and USDA, ownership and operation of the facility will transfer to USDA.