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K-State Today

January 25, 2017

University to host Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense; Jan. 26 live-stream available

Submitted by Jennifer Tidball

Legislators, dignitaries, scientists, academic leaders and industry representatives will visit Kansas State University on Thursday, Jan. 26, for agrodefense panel discussions with the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense.

The event, "Agrodefense: Challenges and Solutions," will begin at 10 a.m. and panel discussions will last throughout the day until 3:45 p.m. The event is by invitation only, but the university community can watch panel discussions through a live-stream available at biodefensestudy.org. The full agenda can be viewed at k-state.edu/media/documents/Jan26agenda.pdf

The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense is a bipartisan national team that provides leadership in recommending changes to U.S. policy and law to strengthen biodefense. Panel members are visiting Kansas State University to ensure that agricultural threats are fully integrated into U.S. biodefense plans, said Ron Trewyn, event organizer and the university's liaison to the National Bio and Ago-defense Facility, or NBAF.

Representatives from multiple organizations will discuss agrodefense experiences, challenges and recommended solutions as well as the current state of biodefense and the importance of including agrodefense. 

Some of the participants in the Jan. 26 event will include:
• Thomas Daschle, former Senate majority leader and panel member. 
• Kenneth Wainstein, former Homeland Security adviser to President George W. Bush and panel member.
• Richard Myers, president of Kansas State University.
• Roger Marshall, U.S. Representative.
• Stephen Higgs, Kansas State University associate vice president for research and director of the Biosecurity Research Institute.
• Tammy R. Beckham, dean of Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
• Jackie McClaskey, secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture. 
• D. Charles Hunt, state epidemiologist and director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and Public Health Informatics in the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

"There's no question that Kansas State University is a national leader in agrodefense," Trewyn said. "With the arrival of the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, the university is uniquely positioned to play a critical role in developing solutions for current and future challenges. Through these important discussions with the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, we hope to accelerate our efforts to keep Americans and their food supply safe from biological threats."