Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed an executive order last week creating a steering committee for the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). The committee consists of federal and state elected leaders plus key stakeholders on the Manhattan project.

Those named to the committee were U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran; U.S. Reps. Lynn Jenkins, Tim Huelskamp, Kevin Yoder and Mike Pompeo; former Kansas Gov. John Carlin, who also currently serves as chairman of the Kansas Bioscience Authority; former Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson; Kansas Senate President Steve Morris; Kansas House Speaker Mike O’Neal; Kansas House Minority Leader Paul Davis; Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley; Kansas Board of Regents Chair Ed McKechnie; Kansas State University President Kirk Schultz; and Manhattan Mayor Jim Sherow. Brownback has asked Roberts to chair the NBAF Steering Committee.

The $650 million laboratory will study and develop countermeasures to animal, human and zoonotic diseases. So far, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has invested more than $150 million into site preparation, engineering, design and site-specific risk assessments. The state of Kansas has committed $105 million in matching funds to the project and $35 million in research funding for transitioning the NBAF mission to Manhattan.

For more information visit www.kla.org.