Gov. Reynolds announces funding for ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory project

(ABC 6 News) – Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced on Tuesday $40 million in funding will go to help complete the second phase of Iowa State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) construction project.

The Governor has also proposed in her budget an additional $20M from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF) – $10M in fiscal year 2024 and $10M in fiscal year 2025 – to total $60M in state support for the VDL project which lawmakers will vote on in the coming weeks.

“The Veterinary Diagnostic Lab is absolutely critical to support and protect our state and country’s agriculture industry and food supply,” said Gov. Reynolds. “This investment will significantly expand the VDL’s capacity to support Iowa’s $32.5 billion animal agriculture industry and will keep this nationally-recognized lab on the forefront of cutting-edge technology. Iowa will remain a global leader in agriculture, combatting foreign animal diseases, and recruiting and retaining veterinary talent.” 

In 2018, state lawmakers authorized $63.5 million towards the construction of Iowa State University’s new $75 million, 72,000 square-foot VDL which is expected to open in this fall.

Fully accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, the VDL provides quality diagnostic services for animal species, including necropsy, bacteriology, serology, histopathology, virology, parasitology, molecular diagnostics, and toxicology as well as offering analytical services.

The full-service laboratories at the VDL process upwards of 100,000 cases each year and conducts more than a million tests annually.

“We are deeply grateful to Governor Reynolds for allocating these critical resources to construct Phase 2 of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory,” said Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen. “This funding will help ensure the VDL can continue to provide cutting-edge services and support to Iowa’s livestock and poultry producers.”

Funding for this initial investment is being made available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act