Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and other U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials on Monday dedicated the final component of the National Centers for Animal Health (NCAH). The cutting-edge center provides laboratories, offices, animal space and administrative space for some of the nation's top animal health scientists and researchers. The dedication marks the completion of long-term project to consolidate three USDA units previously operated separately at Ames, resulting in better cost savings for America's taxpayers and employing about 700 people.
"The new NCAH will help create jobs and economic opportunity in America's rural communities by supporting livestock producers across the country," said Vilsack. "This new facility will not only save taxpayers money but will also help the men and women who work here in Ames provide the critical advancements needed to maintain the success of the industry."
The facility includes the National Animal Disease Center, operated by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the National Veterinary Services Laboratory and the Center for Veterinary Biologics, operated by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). All branches contribute to the nation's livestock industry by conducting research, diagnostics and training, as well as testing vaccines and evaluating veterinary biological products.