MANHATTAN, KS – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts, and Representative Tim Huelskamp today received a tour from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of the future home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas on the campus of Kansas State University.
Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Under Secretary Dr. Reginald Brothers provided the tour and an update on the current status of construction. Joining the members on the tour were Dr. Robert Griffin, DHS S&T Deputy Under Secretary and Dr. Ron Trewyn, Assistant to the President/NBAF Liaison, Kansas State University.
“I am grateful Under Secretary Brothers accepted our invitation to visit Kansas along with other important officials and tour the NBAF site. Developing these relationships is vitally important to our state as such an essential part of our national security apparatus moves forward,” Sen. Moran said. “Visiting the NBAF site today not only gave us a chance to get an update on construction – it also let us see firsthand the real opportunities being created for the talented young men and women of Kansas. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I was committed to making certain NBAF remained a top priority, and there is no longer any question about the project’s future. Kansas will become a research epicenter, and the construction of this modern, world-class facility will ultimately create jobs for Kansans in the fields of engineering, science and technology.”
“I am glad to see firsthand the ongoing construction,” said Sen. Roberts, Chairman of the NBAF in Kansas Steering Committee. “To see these preparations on site in Kansas is a far cry from where we first came across NBAF when it was merely a line item in a budget proposal. This lab is a critical investment to our national security, but it also represents a large financial commitment from the taxpayers and our state. We have a dedicated team of folks at all levels of government that are watching this project and are fighting to ensure it is completed and has the funds needed to get the lab up and operating as soon as possible. I am pleased to see the progress so far.”
"It is great today to see the progress on NBAF,” said Congressman Huelskamp. “Since the beginning in 2007, I have been a strong, consistent supporter--from my time in the Kansas Senate to today as a proud representative of the Big First. It is imperative that work continues on this facility to protect our country’s food supply. As a farmer, I understand first-hand the importance of NBAF to the Kansas and U.S. Agriculture community.”
NBAF will be a state-of-the-art bio-containment facility for the study of foreign animal and emerging and zoonotic (transmitted from animals to humans) diseases that threaten the nation’s livestock, agriculture, and public health.
NBAF will create up to 1,500 construction jobs and 450 permanent jobs. It will generate an estimated economic impact of $3.5 billion in its first 20 years.
# # #