Veterinary and Biomedical Research Center

 Nebraska-based Midwest Veterinary Services (MVS), will be expanding its operations and building the Veterinary and Biomedical Research Center (VBRC) in Pottawatomie County, Kansas.

VBRC helps design and conduct research that guides potential products through the FDA and USDA regulatory approval pathway for vaccine and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Dr. Kelly Lechtenberg, owner of VBRC, has been involved in food animal medicine and production agriculture in Oakland, Nebraska since graduating the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine (DVM, 1987) and Agriculture (Ph.D. in ruminant nutrition, 1988).

“In addition to working with manufacturers, our organization has a long history of collaborating with academic research institutions like Kansas State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. I am excited to be able to bring resources closer to our colleagues at Kansas State University and our regional clients in the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor,” Lechtenberg says.

This company will locate on 4.2 acres of land in the Green Valley Business Park, in Blue Township, along the Highway 24 corridor in SW Pottawatomie County. Construction has begun on VBRC’s new 20,000 sq. ft. facility, which will house the first privately owned business of its type in Pottawatomie County and the Flint Hills region. As such, it is a perfect fit to be located in the regional Animal Health Corridor stretching from Columbia, Missouri to Manhattan, Kansas. Additionally, VBRC will work to develop relationships with regional livestock operations that have an interest in participating in conventional production research. “

We are very pleased that we had "shovel-ready" land available to help facilitate the location and construction of the VBRC,” said Director of the Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation Bob Cole. “Pottawatomie County is proud to have been able to provide a home for this important new business and proud to have been one of a complex of partners at the regional and state level working together to bring this business to Kansas.”

It is also a perfect fit due to its close proximity to some of the most prominent agricultural, veterinary and food safety researchers in the world associated with the College of Veterinary Medicine and Department of Animal Science at K-State. "VBRC's expansion is not only an economic development win for the region, but it adds to the critical mass of animal health capabilities and will drive research and innovation,” said former President of Kansas State University Kirk Schulz. “

To this end, VBRC's presence is well aligned with K-State's vision to be a top 50 research university by 2025. We are thankful for Dr. Lechtenberg's dedication and support of his alma mater and look forward to continued partnership and collaboration. VBRC will provide another venue to link discovery and basic research at K-State to the clinical work necessary to advance concepts towards commercialization, said President of the KSU Institute for Commercialization Kent Glasscock. VBRC’s growth in the region represents another win in our community's knowledge based economic development strategy to attract and retain high-pay, knowledge-based jobs.

“The location of VBRC in Pottawatomie County brings a tremendous asset to the state and provides much needed research and commercialization services to the large concentration of animal health companies located in Kansas. The KBA is excited to welcome VBRC to the region.” said Duane Cantrell, former KBA President and CEO. On November 20, 2012 the KBA Board of Directors unanimously approved $300,000 in funding to help attract VBRC to Kansas. Previously code-named "Project Taurus," the details of the funding and the company’s identity were kept confidential at the request of VBRC, until today.

The Kansas Department of Commerce worked in partnership with Kansas Bioscience Authority by offering training funds under the Kansas Industrial Training program and tax credits to the project. “We are looking forward to the continued expansion of animal science industries in this region, as Kansas State University, its alumni and affiliates continue to find ways to feed the world with safe and nutritious foods, said former Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary Pat George.