Iowa State University VDL receives $40M funding boost

The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University has been awarded funding for the second phase of its massive expansion project.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently announced $40 million in American Rescue Plan funds to help complete phase two of the VDL’s state-of-the-art upgrades.

Cora Fox, Director of Government Relations with the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, says the VDL expansion is needed to help protect the state’s $32.5 billion animal ag industry from foreign animal disease outbreaks.

“The VDL was first built back in 1976, so it’s almost 50 years old,” Fox said. “They started off processing about 35,000 tests per year. This year alone, they are going to test 1.7 million.”

Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig tells Brownfield an additional $20 million investment in state support is also needed.

“We’ve got to go secure the rest of the funding at the legislature this year,” Naig said. “I think there is a ton of support for that on a bipartisan basis, and we are going to work hard to secure that.”

Governor Reynolds has proposed the funds be allocated from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund.

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