Thursday, May 29, 2008

FAMU Held Groundbreaking Ceremony for its Animal Healthcare Facility

Florida A&M University broke ground yesterday on a $1.2 million Animal Healthcare Facility that will support its veterinary technology program.

FAMU will become one of only 11 other major universities in the nation that will offer a four-year degree in veterinary technology, and it will be the only institution in the country with a program that places emphasis on regulatory education and training. The first classes in the new discipline will begin in the fall 2008. The new facility is scheduled to be completed in April, 2009.

According to statistics, there is a critical shortage of adequately trained minorities in the field of veterinary medicine and related disciplines. African Americans represent only 1.9 percent of the veterinary medicine profession. The total representation of minorities in the profession is 7.7 percent.

“As a result of these statistics, this new animal healthcare facility will impact FAMU’s ability to help address a critical nation shortage of minorities in the field of veterinary medicine, and related disciplines,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons.

Kevin Shea, deputy administrator for the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, echoed Ammons’ comments stating that they [USDA] want to see more minorities in the field of veterinary medicine.

“We had some wonderful FAMU graduates that worked for the USDA,” said Shea. “That is why we [USDA] are donating $50,000 for the library. Our partnership with FAMU has been excellent.”

The plans for the new multi-functional complex are designed to enhance instructional delivery and learning of students enrolled in the various animal science academic options in the FAMU College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture. The educational and experiential training of the program will encompass vital aspects of food safety and biosecurity through the most up-to-date instructional, research, teaching, and service programs. The facility will also aid in maintaining proper herd health measures required by the Animal Welfare Act for those animals currently residing at the FAMU Research and Extension Center.

Funding was appropriated for the new facility through grants from the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES). The state-of-the-art complex will house an animal science clinical laboratory, research facilities, upgraded technology and conference center, and custom designed small ruminant and cattle facilities. Academic, research and extension educational activities will take place interchangeably at the facility.

This facility will be very important in the successful training of students enrolled in the veterinary technology program, which will be offered by the University for the first time in the fall 2008. Students will be exposed to laboratory and field experiences, as well as hands-on instruction that are necessary to prepare for professional careers in veterinary medicine and related career paths. The animal health facility will impact the university’s ability to help address a critical nation shortage of minorities in the field of veterinary medicine, and related disciplines.

Photo caption:
From left to right: The following individuals broke ground for Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Animal Healthcare Facility: Harold Mikell, agriculture liaison for the Honorable F. Allen Boyd, Jr., 2nd District; Melissa Durham, legislative assistant for Senator Al Lawson; FAMU President James H. Ammons, Rev. R. B. Holmes, Jr., vice chairman for FAMU Board of Trustees; FAMU Provost Cynthia Hughes Harris; and Makola Abdullah, dean for FAMU’s College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture (CESTA).

No comments: