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Ohio Begins Construction of State-of-the-Art Veterinary Diagnostic Lab
Ohio Ag Connection - 11/20/2023

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) marked a significant milestone in Ohio's agricultural landscape with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Ohio Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (OVDL). This state-of-the-art facility will play a crucial role in safeguarding animal health and enhancing food safety across the state.

The new OVDL will be housed in a 70,000-square-foot building, offering 40% more laboratory space than the current facility. It will also incorporate advanced biosecurity measures and energy-efficient design to accommodate a growing team of experts. The $72 million project, funded through the state's capital budget, is a testament to Ohio's commitment to supporting its agriculture industry.

The current OVDL, built in 1961, has been struggling to keep up with the growing testing demands of Ohio's livestock producers, veterinarians, and agribusinesses. With the new OVDL, Ohio will be able to conduct more tests, provide faster results, and better detect emerging and foreign animal diseases that pose a threat to public health and food security.

The laboratory processes over 452,000 tests annually, equivalent to 1,738 tests per day and 217 tests per hour. The new facility will significantly expand this capacity, ensuring that Ohio's farmers and businesses have access to the timely and accurate testing they need to protect their animals and safeguard the state's food supply.

The OVDL also plays a critical role in supporting Ohio's disease control programs. It provides diagnostic services for a wide range of animal diseases, including rabies, bovine viral diarrhea, and avian influenza. The new laboratory will further enhance its capacity to support these programs and protect Ohio's animal health.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to animal health and food safety, the new OVDL will be named the Dr. Tony Forshey Animal Health Building. Dr. Forshey served as the State Veterinarian from 2006 until his passing in 2021, leaving a lasting legacy in Ohio's agriculture community.

Construction on the new OVDL is scheduled to begin in December 2023, with an estimated completion date in 2026. The completion of this state-of-the-art facility marks a significant step forward in Ohio's commitment to safeguarding animal health, enhancing food safety, and supporting its thriving agriculture industry.

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