Congress allots $40 million for National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility

The federal budget bill recently passed by Congress will allocate $40 million to fund the efforts of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility as it begins construction at Kansas State University.

The $650 million federal facility will be operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and will feature highly secure biosafety level three and four laboratories to develop vaccines and countermeasures to foreign animal, emerging and zoonotic diseases that threaten the U.S. animal agriculture and public health, reports.

The $40 million in federal aid will be matched by $40 million in state aid, according to

"This funding shows Congress understands how vital NBAF is to the nation's food safety and security, and why Kansas State University is the right place for this important facility," Kansas State President Kirk Schulz said, according to

The creation of the NBAF is set to replace the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, which has served as the nation’s primary facility to conduct this type of research for the last 50 years. The recent global H1N1 outbreak and other regional foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks have demonstrated the need for a new facility.   

Construction for the state-of-the-art biocontainment facility will take place over the next few years and is expected to open in 2018.