Archive for Thursday, December 14, 2017

Nation’s food supply is threatened, K-State president tells Congress

December 14, 2017


The president of Kansas State University has told Congress that the school needs federal funds to continue vital research into fighting disease and biological threats that he warned could devastate America’s food supply.

“Hungry people are unhappy people,” President Richard Myers testified Wednesday. “America still feeds the world and there is an urgent need to protect America’s food crops, food animals and food supply from naturally occurring and intentionally developed and delivered biological threats. Either could be devastating.”

Myers said the university needs federal funding to continue research on four emerging animal diseases, the Wichita Eagle reported. The university has been using its own biological isolation labs to research Rift Valley fever, Japanese encephalitis and two variants of swine fever in anticipation of the opening of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, he said.

The more than $1.2 billion facility is under construction near the university’s Manhattan campus and is expected to operate starting in 2022 or 2023. But Myers said Kansas’ commitment to pay for disease research will end in 2019, so the school will soon need federal assistance to continue until the facility opens.

He also said the country needs more agricultural scientists, veterinarians and doctors who have the necessary security clearances to act on classified intelligence information.

Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, who serves as chairman of the Agriculture Committee and who invited Myers to testify, said Myers’ recommendations should be written into Congress’ next farm bill. Roberts said agricultural security is important “to consumers, the American economy and the safety of our country.”


Joe Blackford II 4 months, 1 week ago

THANX to your predecessor, Jon Wefald, Pres. Myers, KSU has a $5million/yr albatross that we taxpayers now need to fund until KSU "thinks" future research $$$$$$ would come?

Wefald built the Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI), aka Pat Roberts Hall, obligating $5mil/yr until the NBAF cows come home with their research $$$$. This decision was made upon the advice of Cols David R. France, Jerry & Nancy K. Jaax; KSU alums & former commander & his top brass @ the U S Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases. HOME OF THE ANTHRAX MAILER. Their inadequate safety & security protocols enabled the removal of anthrax from their lab by a researcher of 19 years. They anticipated Homeland Security would have a trough of $$$$ for bio-terrorism research. 2003, Saddam Hussein's biological WMD turned out to be a farce. IF true, it would have overflowed the trough.

The BRI would be proof that KSU had the ability to establish a BSL-3 lab that could live up to the "new" standard for bio-terrorism labs as Top Secret - Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities. SECRECY => well yeah, KSU kept it secret that the BRI couldn't be certified by DHS as operational. & therefore couldn't get those research $$$$$.

Senators Roberts & Moran "convinced" the USDA to transfer the Arthropod-Borne Animal Diseases Research Unit USDA-ARS from the U of Wy to the BRI. Evidently their research $$$ < $5mil/yr BRI mortgage rate.

"Why did the ABADRU move to Manhattan, Kansas?

The research laboratory in Laramie had reached the point that major infrastructure investments would have to be made to ensure that the Laramie facility was suitable for conducting the types of research we needed to do. ARS is a very large organization with more than 100 research locations nationwide, so it is more cost-effective–for the federal government, and therefore for the taxpayer – to relocate this research program to one of our other existing laboratories. Manhattan was especially appropriate because Kansas State has just built a new state-of-the-art biocontainment laboratory where our scientists can work collaboratively with KSU researchers."

Joe Blackford II 4 months, 1 week ago

The BRI takes its $5million/year mortgage off the top of the KSU research budget; ~ 35%. Until its mortgage is retired!


"The BRI imposes a significant drain on the SRO funds allocated to the central administration. This drain has negative repercussions across the entire university by restricting contributions to start up funds for new faculty, matching support for grants, etc. More importantly, the use of SRO funds for this purpose has been remarkably non- transparent and is one of the sources of campus-wide distrust and suspicion of the central administration."

Fix the BRI Expenditure. Fix the expenditure of $3.1 million of SRO per year to BRI, i.e., get this beast paid for. Ideally, this problem would be solved without SRO money, but with money obtained from sources that were envisioned when the BRI was first conceived, e.g., NBAF. Turn the BRI into a positive learning experience, and use it as a means to demonstrate the currently stated commitment to openness and transparency. Explain the decisions made, the risks taken, and the results obtained. Develop a “business plan” for the BRI that indicates the funding targets to resolve the current operating deficit. Develop a time line through which the financial dependence of the BRI is projected to decrease to a constant value. Define circumstances under which closing the facility would be considered, i.e., under what conditions would it be a “failure.” Use this process as another lesson for the need for transparency and inclusiveness in all major decisions."

There you have it, General Myers => under what conditions would the BRI be a “failure.” Own up to the fact that KSU made "bets" on Congress' knee-jerk reaction to the "wolf of bio-terrorism" resulting in so many teats KSU would become a top 25 research university. Heed the lesson for the need for transparency and inclusiveness in all major decisions.

Instead, I read that KSU's aspirations have fallen to 50th:

"Our goals remain the same — excelling as a student-centered land-grant university on our way to becoming nationally recognized as a Top 50 public research university "

"Other construction projects being conducted by university planners include the new engineering building, Wefald Hall and the new building for the College of Business Administration.

According to Swanson, the 2025 goal of becoming a top 25 public research institution will require more buildings that are currently in the works but have not yet been funded. These buildings will be built in current parking lots. To keep as many parking spots as possible, a new parking garage is also being considered across from the Derby complex."

Bob Smith 4 months, 1 week ago

Pummeling your favorite deceased equine again, Joe?

Bob Summers 4 months, 1 week ago

Liberals will say and do ANYTHING to take other peoples money.

Now food is running out.

Joe Blackford II 4 months, 1 week ago

Liberals as in Sen. Pat Roberts, Pres Dubya, SoS Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet & UN Ambassador John Negroponte, eh?

"U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell displays a vial of anthrax during his presentation to the UN Security Council, February 5, 2003. CIA Director George Tenet (left) and UN Ambassador John Negroponte look on from behind. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found that many of the allegations in the speech were not supported by the underlying intelligence."

Democratic members of the committee expressed the hope that "phase two" of the investigation, which was to include an assessment of how the Iraqi WMD intelligence was used by senior policymakers, would be completed quickly. Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) said of phase two, "It is a priority. I made my commitment and it will get done."

on March 31, 2005, Senator Roberts wrote, "I don’t think there should be any doubt that we have now heard it all regarding prewar intelligence. I think that it would be a monumental waste of time to replow this ground any further."

Phase II of the report was publicly released on Thursday June 5, 2008"

I've never stated what some see as obvious => Pat Roberts exchanged a delay in the report = the length of Dubya's 2 terms for siting the NBAF @ KSU. I'm more inclined to believe the exchange was for placing a "ringer" on the DHS' Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee (HSSTAC) to serve as a source of independent expert advice to the Under Secretary for Science and Technology.

INDEPENDENT? Dr./Col. Franz served as the Chairman, Chem-Bio Panel of HSSTAC. He was employed by KSU at the time he was advising DHS; appointed by Democratic Governor Sebelius to serve on the executive committee of the KS Bioscience Authority; and was VP of Midwest Research, a Govt-Owned Contractor Operated laboratories contractor. The DHS Inspector General determined Franz had no conflict of interest because nobody he advised was aware of his employers having a stake in selecting KSU for NBAF.

Bob Summers 4 months, 1 week ago

All of your examples are choices people make.

One, to varying degrees, is born with the Liberal genetic condition.

People do not have a choice whether they have the condition or not.

Liberals want other peoples money.

It is just the way they are.

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