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We Can Always Accomplish More, Together

by Animal Health | Jun 15, 2023


The ribbon cutting ceremony for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) was held on May 24th in Manhattan, Kansas. Taking place 14 years after Manhattan was selected as the site for this important investment, the facility will offer maximum biocontainment space for research and greatly benefit our industry. This project was a marathon, not a sprint, and highlights the importance of collaboration, partnership, and leadership in order to advance our industry. 

Since the project began in 2009, there have been three different U.S. Presidents and three different Kansas Governors providing leadership and support for this project. Historically, the U.S. did not have a laboratory facility with maximum biocontainment (BSL-4) space to study high-consequence zoonotic diseases affecting large livestock. This forced the U.S. to rely on other countries’ facilities for this research. Through each administration, it was critical to keep the end goal in mind—protecting the nation’s food supply and public health.  

When fully operational, NBAF will be the first facility in the United States with BSL-4 containment capable of housing large livestock. NBAF will also feature a Biologics Development Module (BDM) for the pilot scale development of vaccines and other countermeasures, augmenting laboratory research and accelerating technology transfer to industry partners. 

NBAF is in the heart of the Animal Health Corridor and is a project that has come to reality with the same collaborative approach that makes the Corridor work. Both NBAF and the Corridor must work with different administrations, each with varied priorities, to achieve a common goal. The focus on the overall health of our nation and our food supply was at the forefront of this landmark project. Working together makes us stronger and NBAF is a shining example of collaboration, partnership, and leadership.

The executive team that has been hired at NBAF is world class. I encourage Animal Health Corridor members to connect with Steven Witte, Director of the BDM, to discuss ways your team can partner with NBAF to advance technologies within the industry. In many cases, teamwork really does make the dream work.


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