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Agriculture
In 2005, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to replace the old Plum Island Animal Disease Center off Long Island with a facility on the U.S. mainland to study Foot and Mouth Disease and other dangerous pathogens. Kansas won the job in 2008, with a site on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan.But today, more than three years later, the proposed $1.14 billion National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility faces funding obstacles, safety questions, rising costs and political fallout. For Kansas and the Midwest, the stakes couldn’t be higher.Here you’ll find coverage and updates from Harvest Public Media, KCUR and Kansas Public Media.

The Other Manhattan Project: Kansas' $125 Billion National Bio And Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF)

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Laura Ziegler
As of winter 2019, the 47-acre National Bio and Agro-Defense facility site was almost two-thirds complete.

In the wake of Sept. 11, federal officials said the United States needed a new, state-of-the-art facility to defend against bioterrorism and stop diseases that could devastate the country’s farm economy and threaten human lives. They chose Manhattan, Kansas, as the site of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.

The plan was to have it up and running last year. But that date has fallen ever deeper into the future. At best, it’ll open in 2022, at a price that surpasses the original budget by $800 million.

The Other Manhattan Project

The Other Manhattan Project: Kansas' $125 Billion National Bio And Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF)
Part II: The Research, by Brian Grimmett

The Other Manhattan Project: Kansas' $125 Billion National Bio And Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF)
Part III: The Community, by Laura Ziegler

Brian Grimmett reports on the environment, energy and natural resources for KMUW in Wichita and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @briangrimmett.

Laura Ziegler is a cmmunity engagement reporter at KCUR 89.3. You can reach her on Twitter @laurazig or by email at lauraz@kcur.org.

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