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SDADRDL lab ribbon cutting

SDSU college of agriculture dean John Killefer speaks at the ribbon cutting for the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic lab Sept. 6.

There’s a busy laboratory on the campus of South Dakota State University in Brookings, serving ranchers across the state and working on the latest research. It recently got its first major upgrade in about 25 years, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (ADRDL) got a $58 million upgrade. State officials, Legislators and the 60 full time employees of the lab celebrated with the community at a ribbon cutting ceremony Sept. 6.

With the addition, the lab is now certified for Biosecurity Level 3. It’s able to handle some of the most volatile diseases and keep them safely isolated. At a time when commerce is increasingly global and diseases like African swine fever threaten to take down an entire industry, having a diagnostic lab at the ready to help out is a huge part of the disease control effort.

Lab workers make an effort to give producers quick and reliable information, noted Lt. Governor Larry Rhoden at the ribbon cutting. The remodel has also made the lab more user-friendly, complete with a drive-up window. With the increased demand for same-day sample testing, such conveniences will make the process smoother for both customers and workers.

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“We’re here to serve the state and the region,” lab director Dr. Jane Christopher-Hennings said.

SDSU President Barry Dunn noted the important research going on under the lab’s roof. It brings the possibility for innovative new patents and new companies spurred right here in South Dakota, he said.

The lab’s renovations are well worth the money, for the sake of human health, animal health, and the health of our livestock industry.

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Janelle is editor of the Tri-State Neighbor, covering South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Nebraska. Reach her at jatyeo@tristateneighbor.com or follow on Twitter @JLNeighbor

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