Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”
In March, North Carolina voters approved the Connect NC bond package. The bond contained $94 million to help the department build a new laboratory complex to replace several aging labs: Veterinary, Food and Drug, Structural Pest & Pesticides, Standards and Motor Fuels.
A working group from across the department is already looking at business processes in each of the current labs, and that information will be factored into the design of the new lab.
The department soon will begin the process of selecting a design firm. However, a contract for design cannot be signed until the bonds are sold, which could occur in August.
The average age of the current labs is more than 40 years. They struggle with inadequate ventilation and climate control. Their ability to service the needs of North Carolina residents and businesses is hindered by not having the room to expand testing capacity due to limited space. The aging infrastructure also directly impacts their ability to utilize advanced testing equipment.
A new and modern design will allow the department to invest in advanced technology and testing equipment. The new lab will be more energy-efficient, and will allow for optimization of workflows and expansion of programs.
To listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss the need for the new lab, click on the audio player below.
[Audio:/wp-content/uploads/Troxler_5-10-16.mp3|titles=Today’s Topic for May 10]
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