Groundbreaking Today for New ARS Research
By Jim Core
March 1, 2005
GAINESVILLE, Fla.Ground was
broken here today for a U.S. Department of
Agriculture facility where scientists will develop the next generation of
tools to protect U.S. military personnel from disease-transmitting insects.
Construction of the new research building, funded by the
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), is the first
step in a project to improve the
for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomologys (CMAVE)
Fly Research Unit, in support of the DOD need to protect soldiers from
insects and insect-borne diseases. CMAVE is operated by the
Agricultural Research Service,
USDAs chief scientific research agency.
USDA and the Department of Defense have a long history of working
together to produce products to control disease-carrying insects, said
Joseph Jen, USDA
Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. These products are
being used to protect the military and save millions of lives every year around
Jen was the keynote speaker at the event. In addition,
F. Cole, ARS South Atlantic area director, and DOD officials also
participated in the ceremony. Several hundred people were in attendance,
including personnel of the State of Florida and USDA, as well as community
leaders and elected officials.
The new facility will help the research unit develop new and improved
pesticides, application procedures and personal protection methods to fend off
mosquitoes and flies that transmit diseases. Currently, ARS and CMAVE are
participating in a DOD initiative called the Deployed War Fighter Protection
Research Program (DWFP). The DWFP has funded CMAVE to develop methods to
protect U.S. military personnel from disease-transmitting insects.
The new building will add more than 4,000 square feet of high-quality
research space to CMAVE, which is adjacent to the University of Florida in Gainesville. The
facility will cost about $1 million to build and will include a greenhouse and
head house with insect rearing facilities and plant-growth chambers.
CMAVEs research is aimed at reducing or eliminating the harm caused by
insects to crops, stored products, livestock and humans. Research is focused on
the insects themselves, the pathogens they may transmit, and identification of
inherent protective mechanisms in plants. The center has five research units.