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National Bio and Agro-defense Facility

Research mission

The National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF) is designed to protect U.S. livestock from foreign animal diseases (FADs), including zoonotic FADs that pose a threat to human health as well.  NBAF will replace the antiquated Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), Plum Island, NY, a facility unsafe for zoonotic FAD research.  The most recent list of FADs likely to be worked on in NBAF when it opens is shown below. 

NBAF Research Mission

The bio/agrodefense research activities for NBAF are driven by the requirements of Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-9, Defense of United States Agriculture and Food, January 30, 2004.  Six Essential components (A-F) for protecting agriculture and food from global biological threats were delineated in HSPD-9, with research and development (R&D) being the sixth element (F) as illustrated in the graphic below. Public Law 115-43, Securing Our Agriculture and Food Act, in 2017 amended the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to codify HSPD-9-related bio/agrodefense mandates for the Department of Homeland Security in federal statute.


Click here for additional information in a 2-page HSPD-9 overview.

Five years prior to HSPD-9 being written, Kansas State University had delineated the need to protect American agriculture – crops, livestock – and food from global biothreats in a 100-page Homeland Defense Food Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness Program.  The requirement to build biocontainment laboratories to confront these threats was highlighted.  That same year, the Kansas State President testified before the U.S. Senate’s Emerging Threats Subcommittee regarding the Agricultural Biological Weapons Threat facing America.  Few in the U.S. were concerned about these threats at the time. 

First Responder

Kansas State University’s Biosecurity Research Institute, or BRI, at Pat Roberts Hall was called for in the 1999 “Big Purple Book” and it was ultimately constructed from 2004-2007.  That allowed research planned for NBAF to be jump started in the BRI when $35 million for FAD research was committed by the State of Kansas as part of its “best and final offer” for NBAF in 2008. Work began on the zoonotic foreign animal disease RVF in 2013 and JE in 2014; it expanded to the non-zoonotic threats CSF and ASF in 2015 and 2016, respectively. R&D continues in the BRI on all of these FADs which is helping to train the biocontainment workforce of the future for NBAF and elsewhere.

BRI 11-14

Learn what Kansas State University's BRI is working on to protect America's crops, livestock and food, plus public health as well.

Numerous university, state and federal organizations have partnered to help NBAF transition to Kansas. These collaborators are providing valuable resources and expertise as the facility becomes operational. 

University collaborators

Biosecurity Research Institute

The Biosecurity Research Institute is a biosafety level-3 facility that provides scientists with a safe and secure location to study high-consequence pathogens affecting plants, animals and food products. The institute is jump-starting some of the research planned for NBAF. 

National Agricultural Biosecurity Center

The National Agricultural Biosecurity Center administers programs that help protect America’s food supply and address the preparation and response to threats involving the agricultural economy. The center unites biosecurity researchers with federal, state and local agencies to provide a response to emerging agricultural threats.

K-State Research and Extension

K-State Research and Extension is a partnership between Kansas State University and federal, state and county government, with offices in every Kansas county. K-State Research and Extension is dedicated to a safe, sustainable, competitive food and fiber system and to strong, healthy communities, families and youth through integrated research, analysis and education.

Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization

The Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization is dedicated to the start-up and expansion of technology-based, high-growth enterprises and enables the commercialization of university and underutilized corporate intellectual property.

K-State Olathe

The university's Olathe campus is a leader of adaptable, interdisciplinary and innovative education, research and public/private engagement in the Kansas City area. It is bridging the university with global and local community, government and industry partners.

State and regional collaborators

Kansas Department of Agriculture

In June 2014, the Kansas Department of Agriculture moved its headquarters to the university's research park, which is adjacent to NBAF. The new location builds collaboration on research, agricultural issues affecting the state and joint outreach to the Kansas agricultural community.

Kansas City Animal Health Corridor

Kansas State University and Manhattan help anchor the world’s largest concentration of animal health companies that stretches from Columbia, Mo., to Manhattan. These animal health companies in the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor generate more than a third of the global sales for the $19 billion animal health industry.

Federal collaborators

U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases

The Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases develops countermeasures for emerging high-priority animal diseases that can spread to humans. The center partners with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Grain and Animal Health Research