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Texas A&M System approves panhandle ag projects

Regents budget $39.6m to construct Texas A&M's VERO Center and replace Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.

November 20, 2018

2 Min Read
Texas A&M System approves panhandle ag projects

The Texas A&M University System regents approved at a Nov. 15 meeting $39.6 million to construct two major projects as part of the West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) Agriculture Complex in Canyon, Texas.

Construction will begin in December for both Texas A&M’s Veterinary Education, Research & Outreach (VERO) Center and a $17.6 million facility to replace the aging Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in Amarillo. Both are scheduled to be completed in 2020.

“Coupled with West Texas A&M’s new agricultural building, [WTAMU] and Texas A&M University will deliver service to the important Panhandle region that is second to none,” said Chancellor John Sharp.

The VERO Center is a key component to Texas A&M addressing the need for veterinarians in rural areas, the announcement said.

Starting in 2016, the partnership between the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) and WTAMU has been recruiting young people with the passion for a career in veterinary medicine, the intellect to be accepted into veterinary school and and succeed in the veterinary medicine curriculum and the work ethic to be successful students and veterinarians.

An affiliation between WTAMU, the new diagnostic lab and the veterinary college program will create synergies in advancing their overlapping educational, research and outreach missions in serving the youth and the livestock industries in the Texas panhandle and plains, including pre-veterinary education, summer internships for veterinary students in their first to third years, externships for fourth-year students enrolled at the veterinary college and continuing education for professionals who are already practicing, according to the Texas A&M System.

Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory is the only state agency dedicated to providing veterinary diagnostic services to the state of Texas.

The current Amarillo laboratory, built in 1975, performs as a full-service veterinary diagnostic laboratory, including necropsy and herd health surveillance testing. The conditions in the aging facility are challenging the agency’s ability to fulfill the accreditation requirements set by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, the announcement said.

The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.7 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year.

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