Partnering with Industry

In addition to gifts from alumni and friends, the Forever True, For Iowa State fundraising campaign received numerous gifts from industry and commodity group partners.

One project benefitting from contributions from these groups is the new, state-of-the-art Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

The State of Iowa appropriated $63.5 million towards the $75 million project. To close the funding gap, many of the VDL’s industry partners contributed financially.

A pair of such gifts came from the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFB), each of whom committed a gift of $1 million to support the new VDL.

“Our investment underscores how Iowa’s pig farmers rely on this in-state facility to help us quickly recognize and contain animal diseases,” said Mike Paustian, a Walcott farmer who is the IPPA president. “The current VDL has been pushed to its limits, while the need for the services they provide continues expanding rapidly. Over 75 percent of the samples being submitted to the VDL are from pig farms, which is why we decided to help lead the charge to secure the funds needed for this project. Not only is that important to us, but to Iowa’s rural economy. The VDL is a world-class resource that will be critical to the future success of pork producers in Iowa.”

The investment in the new facility will help greatly increase the state’s diagnostic service and discovery capabilities for current and future generations of Iowa’s livestock farmers. In addition, the new facility will help keep Iowa State at the forefront in discovery of emerging and re-emerging diseases, provide a rich caseload to teach future veterinary practitioners and make innovative discoveries regarding new methods to control and eradicate diseases.

“Livestock is critical to Iowa’s agricultural industry so it is imperative that we are constantly innovating and continuously improving what we do for the overall well-being of our animals and our food supply,” said Craig Hill, president of IFB and multi-generation livestock farmer from Ackworth, Iowa. “With this new world-class facility, Iowa livestock farmers will have immediate access to unbiased, third-party diagnoses in livestock and poultry to help ensure a safe food supply for future generations.”

The IPPA and the IFB are just a few of the commodity and industry groups to see a need for a new VDL in Iowa. Other groups include the Iowa Beef Industry Council, Cattlemen’s Association and Cattleman’s Foundation, Dairy Farmers to the Iowa American Dairy Association of the Midwest., Iowa Egg Council, Poultry Association, Turkey Federation and Turkey Marketing Council, Iowa Corn Growers Association and Corn Promotion Board, Iowa Soybean Association and United Soybean Board, Merck Animal Health, Farm Credit Services, and the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association.

“Through our stakeholders’ partnerships with Iowa State and the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will continue to be a leader in protecting animal and human health while advancing Iowa’s animal agriculture economy,” said Dr. Dan Grooms, the Dr. Stephen G. Juelsgaard Dean of Veterinary Medicine.