Members of Land Grant Universities were on Capitol Hill this week to discuss the importance of the schools biodefense in the ag industry.
Kansas State University President Richard Myers said this is nothing new for land grant universities.
“Protecting U.S. agriculture is one mission of America’s land grant universities, among others. A mission that began in 1862 when President Lincoln sign the Murrell Act.”
They focus on threats such as pests and disease, or even bioterrorism.
Plant Pathologist at Michigan State University Ray Hammerschmidt gave an example of how they are responsible to the industry.
“The MSU lab is one of land grant laboratories that collectively form the National Plant Diagnostic Network. This networks is involved in rapidly detecting and diagnosing plant pathogens and pests. We’re also involved in reporting this information to the appropriate entities whether it’s back to the grower or to regulatory agencies so we can have mitigation.”
The National Plant Diagnostic Network also receives support from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.