The first meeting of a steering committee appointed by Gov. Sam Brownback last summer is taking place this morning in Topeka.
National, state and local officials are meeting to discuss the current state and future of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF.
Tweets out of this morning’s meeting say among the topics being covered are Russian stockpiles of dangerous animal pathogens, Congressional skittishness about funding NBAF due to the political climate, and silence among supporters in D.C.
Senator Pat Roberts reportedly said it's in the interest of the U.S. Senate to keep quiet until the funding situation in Washington changes. K-State officials say they're ready to run with the NBAF and integrate it into the proposed Animal Health Corridor. The Corridor is the concept of a concentrated region of animal disease and food safety research between Kansas University, University of Missouri and Kansas State University. Also, supporters say the current concentration of animal disease companies enhance the potential of the Corridor.
Kansas' Roberts is chair of the committee. Other members include Sen. Jerry Moran, Congressmen Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder, Tim Huelskamp and Mike Pompeo. It also includes former Kansas Governors John Carlin and Mark Parkinson as well as the president of K-State University and the mayor of Manhattan.