On a typical day at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Veterinarian Diagnostic Clinic, lab workers will process 800 samples from livestock, pets and wildlife across the state, often identifying disease-causing organisms in a matter of minutes to ensure speedy treatment.
Livestock producers have long depended on the diagnostic clinic to safeguard their animals and to support the industry’s efforts to deliver a healthy, quality product to consumers. In fact, the clinic is so vital to agriculture that the threat of possible closure several years ago prompted several in the industry, including FCSAmerica, to donate to the construction of a state-of-the-art diagnostic clinic designed to meet biosecurity requirements and serve the needs of the state for decades to come.
The new Veterinarian Diagnostic Clinic hosted a grand opening on UNL’s east campus last Friday. Nebraska University regents and administrators joined representatives for the agricultural industry in celebrating the public-private partnership that made the nearly $45 million project a reality.
“This is a win-win for Nebraska agriculture,” said Bob Campbell, senior vice president for FCSAmerica’s southwest territory, including much of Nebraska.
The diagnostic clinic supports the agricultural industry on a number of fronts, from diagnostic care to food safety to infectious research. Just as importantly, Campbell noted, the clinic provides students with the preparation they need to pursue careers in Nebraska’s much-needed animal care sector.
“Given the economic impact of livestock industry, the state needs its own clinic to serve producers with cutting-edge diagnostics and to provide an educational pipeline of future veterinarians,” Campbell said.
The state Legislature provided nearly $45 million and donors, led by Dennis and Glenda Boesiger, a total of $4.1 million to complete the clinic. The building was designed to foster greater collaboration between staff and allow for growth. Money from the project also went to upgrade technology, including an instrument that identifies potentially deadly bacteria in minutes rather than the days it once took to isolate and identify.
“We’re truly better when we work together,” said NU President Hank Bounds said of the public-private project. “This is a Veterinarian Diagnostic Clinic built for the future.”