1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »National Agricultural Biosecurity Center awarded USDA grants for agricultural disease...

K-State Today

February 13, 2020

National Agricultural Biosecurity Center awarded USDA grants for agricultural disease preparedness

Submitted by Erin Pennington

The National Agricultural Biosecurity Center, or NABC, at the Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State University, received two grants from the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. These grants, which are funded by the 2018 Farm Bill, will be used to fund two projects at K-State pertaining to agricultural disease preparedness and response.

These projects endeavor to strengthen the response to limiting the short- and long-term impacts of a high-consequence disease event in Kansas and the surrounding region. They will facilitate greater cooperation between government, industry and academic officials in planning and preparing before an event takes place and in responding effectively if an event occurs.

The first project, "Secure Food Supply Permitting Exercise for the High Plains Region," will test the capability of Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas to issue permits for interstate and intrastate livestock movement during a disease outbreak to facilitate business continuity. Each state is working to implement secure food supply plans designed to increase biosecurity and allow for continuity of business across multiple sectors of the livestock industry in the face of a high-consequence disease outbreak like African Swine Fever or foot-and-mouth disease.

The second project, "Tabletop Exercises for Local Jurisdictions," is a joint effort between the NABC, the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the Kansas Division of Emergency Management to create a series of regional exercises. These exercises will allow counties to test their current response plans as they relate to controlling a high-consequence livestock disease outbreak.

"The NABC is pleased to assist the USDA in preparing for potential high-consequence animal disease outbreaks," said Marty Vanier, D.V.M., director of the NABC. "The lessons learned in these exercises will help counties prepare and respond to disease outbreaks and will allow states to enhance continuity of business and community resilience."

These two projects build on the growing recognition of the NABC as a nationally prominent research center that enhances and promotes multidisciplinary collaboration amongst government, industry and academic partners. The USDA awards for these proposals assist in strengthening state and county collaborations as well as expanding partnerships with a coalition of neighboring states. These awards demonstrate the productivity, practicality and innovation the NABC helps deliver when pursuing the university's land-grant mission and global foods systems initiative.

"It is great having NABC staff located in Pat Roberts Hall," said Stephen Higgs, director of the Biosecurity Research Institute. "They provide expertise and a network of relationships that are both novel and complementary to the BRI's research, education and training related to biosecurity and the global food and health mission."

The grants are a part of a total of $10.2 million awarded by the USDA to institutions and agencies to support disease prevention and emergency response training and exercise projects as well as targeted projects to enhance laboratory diagnostic capability.