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National Bio and Agro-defense Facility

Documents and resources

Protecting the Nation: Kansas and the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (pdf)

Based on the long timeline of the NBAF project that began in 2006, K-State put out a 26-page overview in 2020 to document the national bio/agrodefense effort. It covers the need for NBAF and the process by which it came to Kansas. Stakeholder perspectives are included at the end.   


SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) proved the U.S. has been avoiding the reality of biopreparedness for far too long and America paid the consequences. The fact that most pandemic threats are zoonotic diseases transmitted from animals to people means more effort should focus on confronting these pathogens in the animal hosts.

Just as SARS-CoV-2 devastated the U.S. economy, so too could diseases of crops and livestock if they were to hit the U.S. accidentally or intentionally. Without a fully vetted, nationwide biothreat readiness system as called for in HSPD-9, the monetary consequences associated with bio/agro-disaster responses could grow exponentially.

Safeguarding American Agriculture in a Globalized World: 12/13/2017 Testimony (pdf)  
The problems of HSPD-9 not being enforced today was addressed in a Farm Bill hearing of the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee on December 13, 2017. Testimony by K-State President Richard Myers addressed key elements for protecting the nation. President Myers was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2001 to 2005, which gives him a unique perspective on global bioterrorism threats.

Bio/Agro Security Enterprise (pdf)
Kansas State's Bio/Agro Security Enterprise (BASE) includes diverse and century-long programs focused on protecting America's food crops, food animals, food supply and public health. Thus, BASE is broader than the NBAF mission, which is focused exclusively on protecting livestock from foreign animal diseases (FADs) and people from zoonotic FADs


NBAF and Other Bio/Agrodefense Research in the BRI(pdf)
The linked PDF summary documents NBAF-related livestock infectious disease research capabilities at Kansas State University, along with crop disease and food safety research proficiencies.

The Silicon Valley for Biodefense (pdf)  
The new, 2017 description of the evolving innovation district around NBAF is "the Silicon Valley for Biodefense," thanks to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle with the Blue Ribbon Study Panel for Biodefense (now the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense).  He invoked that nomenclature during Panel hearings at Kansas State, January 26, 2017, entitled "Agrodefense: Challenges and Solutions." Manhattan, Kansas is where government, industry, and university R&D partnerships are already providing solutions to emerging biological threats.

Silicon Valley for Biodefense

Kansas State University's 1999 Homeland Defense Program (pdf) 
This 1999 document — which became known as "The Big Purple Book" — outlined the university’s Homeland Defense Food Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness Program. The 100-page strategic plan for bio/agrodefense served as the blueprint for the Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) at Pat Roberts Hall and multiple supporting programs.


Kansas State University's 1999 U.S. Senate Testimony (pdf) 
Kansas State's former president, Jon Wefald, presented testimony before the U.S. Senate's Emerging Threats Subcommittee, chaired by Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, on Oct. 27, 1999. The title was, Agricultural Biological Weapons Threats: Food Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness. Few other entities or institutions were concerned with protecting American agriculture - crops, livestock - and food from global bioterrorists back then.

Kansas State University's National Agricultural Biosecurity Center (NABC) K-State's NABC was established in 2002 to confront U.S. bio/agrodefense challenges post-09/11. Some of the NABC's early efforts are summarized in the three graphics below. The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020 reaffirmed the relevance today of The American System of Intergovernmental Management briefing papers put forth in 2003. 


Additionally, the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic validated the importance of conducting bio/agrodefense preparedness exercises involving federal, state, and local emergency response agencies. 


 Finally, a broad range of biothreat technical information produced by subject matter experts can prove invaluable in a bio/agrodefense emergency.