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K-State Today

December 15, 2017

President Myers presents to U.S. Senate Committee

By Division of Communications and Marketing

President Myers speaks to U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

On Dec. 13, Kansas State University President Richard Myers presented to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry about Kansas State University's role in safeguarding American agriculture in a globalized world.

Myers' testimony included discussion about the global problem of food insecurity, the risk of terrorists targeting agriculture and food supplies, and the impact that foreign animal diseases could have on the U.S. livestock industry. Myers said Kansas State University, as a land-grant university, has a responsibility to participate in protecting agriculture in Kansas and he encouraged the committee to include all land-grant universities in the solutions to safeguarding agriculture.

Myers spoke about Kansas State University's reputation for preparing defenses for biological threats, such as the development of the 1999 Homeland Defense Food Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness Program — also called the Big Purple Book — and its Biosecurity Research Institute in Pat Roberts Hall.

Other witnesses included former Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is the co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense; Raymond Hammerschmidt, professor of plant, soil and microbial sciences at Michigan State University; and R.D. Meckes, North Carolina state veterinarian.

Myers has participated in discussions for the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense including the panel's January visit to the Manhattan campus. The panel featured the university in several sections of its October bipartisan report.