COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M University System Regents approved $39.6 million to construct two major projects as part of the West Texas A&M Agriculture Complex in Canyon.
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, WT 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.
Starting in 2016, the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM)-WTAMU partnership has been recruiting young people with the passion for a career in veterinary medicine, the intellect to be accepted into veterinary school and to be successful in the DVM 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 first to third years, externships for fourth-year students enrolled at the veterinary college as well as continuing education for professionals who are already practicing.
Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory is the only state agency dedicated to providing veterinary diagnostic services to the state of Texas.
Uniquely positioned to service the livestock industry in the Panhandle of Texas, the current Amarillo laboratory performs as a full-service veterinary diagnostic laboratory, including necropsy and herd health surveillance testing.
The current Amarillo facility was built in 1975 and, after more than 40 years of demanding work, the conditions in the deteriorating facility are challenging the agency’s ability to fulfill the accreditation requirements set by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD).
From its new campus location in Canyon, the agency will be within a two-hour drive of anywhere in the region.
About The Texas A&M University System
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. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $972 million in FY 2016 and helped drive the state’s economy.