January 25, 2021

Iowa cattle industry headquarters supports the new veterinary diagnostic laboratory at Iowa State University

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Foundation are excited to support the new Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (VDL) at Iowa State University.

While construction will not begin until early 2021, a groundbreaking event was held for stakeholders, industry partners and the Veterinary Medicine community to kick off the project.

The ICA, IBIC and ICF have committed to spaces in the Client Service Entrance and the Specimen Viewing Studio within the new facility.

“We are committed to supporting the expansion of the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to enhance diagnostic capabilities while giving us a competitive edge to protect animal and public health,” said Matt Deppe, CEO, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has long had a commitment to provide state-of-the-art diagnostic services in support of Iowa’s $32.5 billion animal agriculture industry.

The new VDL will provide essential infrastructure for sample receiving and processing, pathology, bacteriology, necropsy, histopathology and an incinerator. The new construction will improve efficiency and effectiveness of the process flow while addressing critical issues of space quantity and quality and provide the necessary biosafety and biocontainment.

“Investing in the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab is a worthwhile cause that all checkoff investors can take pride in supporting. This is an important measure to help ensure producers have access to industry leading resources and a valuable tool in ensuring a secure beef supply,” said Rex Hoppes, Executive Director of the Iowa Beef Industry Council.

The $75 million project has been funded by a $63.5 million appropriation from the State of Iowa with additional funding from the VDL, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University and private donors.

The VDL has been a national leader in protecting animal and human health since it was established in 1947. Processing more than 100,000 submissions a year – and more than a million tests in total – the laboratory plays a key role in ensuring animal health, including wildlife and companion animals; public health; world food safety; and the competitiveness of Iowa’s $32.5 billion animal agricultural industry.

The facility will greatly increase the state’s diagnostic service and discovery capabilities for current and future generations of Iowa’s livestock farmers. In addition, it will help keep Iowa State at the forefront in discovery of emerging and re-emerging diseases, provide a rich caseload to teach future veterinary practitioners and make innovative discoveries regarding new methods to control and eradicate diseases.

The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is scheduled to open in 2023.