Iowa Governor Announces Funding for ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Lab

(Office of Gov. Kim Reynolds)

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced $40 million in funding from American Rescue Plan Act dollars to help complete Phase 2 of Iowa State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL).  She has also proposed an additional $20M in her budget from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF)—$10M in FY24 and $10M in FY25—to total $60M in state support for the VDL project in a release from her office.

Construction of the front end of a new VDL in Ames is scheduled to be finished this year. The $75-million Phase 1 of the project does not cover the majority of the lab’s operations, Iowa Pork Producers Association noted in a statement. Phase 2, which is expected to cost $62.5 million, would provide an additional 70,000 square feet for laboratory testing, research and support functions. 

“Pig farmers and cattle producers across Iowa are extremely grateful Governor Kim Reynolds is providing significant financial support to upgrade Iowa State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and we hope the Iowa legislature will join her in providing additional funding, as she has proposed," said Iowa Pork Producers Association President Kevin Rasmussen, a farmer from Goldfield, in a joint statement with Iowa Cattlemen’s Association President Bob Noble of Riceville.

Gov. Reynolds explained that the VDL is critical to support and protect not only the Iowa agriculture industry and food supply, but the U.S. as well.

“The new state-of-the-art facility will keep Iowa State at the forefront in helping recognize foreign animal diseases that threaten the nation’s food supply well into the future. We sincerely appreciate her efforts and willingness to keep animal and human health as top priorities," Rasmussen and Noble said in a release.

This investment will significantly expand the VDL’s capacity to support Iowa’s $32.5 billion animal agriculture industry and will keep this nationally-recognized lab on the forefront of cutting-edge technology, Reynolds said in the release. 

“We are deeply grateful to Governor Reynolds for allocating these critical resources to construct Phase 2 of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory," Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen said in a release. "This funding will help ensure the VDL can continue to provide cutting-edge services and support to Iowa’s livestock and poultry producers."

The state's close relationship with the VDL has been essential in implementing the state's response to the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said they rely on the VDL's recommendations as Iowa continues to enhance foreign animal disease preparedness. 

Editor's Note: Fully accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, the VDL provides quality diagnostic services for animal species, including necropsy, bacteriology, serology, histopathology, virology, parasitology, molecular diagnostics, and toxicology as well as offering analytical services. The full-service laboratories at the VDL process upwards of 100,000 cases each year and conducts more than a million tests annually. 


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