LINCOLN, Neb. — The Cuming County Livestock Feeders Association has announced a gift of $25,000 to support the Veterinary Diagnostic Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The planned new facility will help ensure livestock producers and others have access to the best available laboratory diagnostics, research, education and outreach services.
The gift made to the University of Nebraska Foundation supports plans to replace an aging facility that no longer meets modern laboratory standards. The new facility planned to replace it will enable the university to better serve veterinarians, livestock producers, public health officials and others in Nebraska and around the country who depend on its services.
Recognizing the state's need for a new center, the Nebraska Legislature committed to provide $41.5 million in funding through the Building a Healthier Nebraska initiative once $4.15 million is first raised from private sources. To date more than $3 million of private and other support has been raised, and the university hopes to launch the project before the conclusion of 2014.
Ron Coufal, president of the Cuming County Livestock Feeders Association, said the organization is proud to invest in a new veterinary diagnostic facility for the state. "Cuming County is the largest agriculture producing county and helps Nebraska continue its number one status in the beef industry," he said. "It is only fitting that our association help Nebraska continue that ranking in all areas of livestock production, as 86 percent of agriculture revenue in the county comes from livestock with beef being the largest contributor."
Alan Doster, professor and director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Center, said, "This investment made by the Cuming County Livestock Feeders Association will be well used and will help ensure we're able to provide a high level of service to livestock producers and veterinarians in Nebraska and across the country. We also appreciate their help in bringing attention to the need for a new state facility."
Built in 1975, the Veterinary Diagnostic Center on UNL's East Campus has become outdated. According to an accreditation review last year by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, there is a need for facility upgrades and additional space to continue its responsiveness in the development and implementation of new technologies and to address biosafety and biosecurity concerns, or the center may face loss of accreditation.