Wednesday, May 21, 2008

FAMU Schedules Groundbreaking Ceremony for its Animal Healthcare Facility

Florida A&M University will sponsor a special Groundbreaking Ceremony on May 28, 2008, at 10 a.m. at the construction site for a new Animal Healthcare Facility. The ceremony will be held at the Research and Extension Center located at 4259 Bainbridge Highway in Quincy, Florida.

FAMU will become one of only eleven other major universities in the nation that 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.

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 totaling $1.2 million has been appropriated for the new facility through grants from the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the 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.

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