Dedication ceremony held for Murray State University’s Breathitt Veterinary Center
Tags: May 19/2017
Special guests attended the dedication ceremony of the new Breathitt Veterinary Center on May 11 in Hopkinsville. The event included a speaker’s program along with a reception, ribbon cutting and guided tour of the new facility, which totals 77,000 square feet, significantly larger than the 44,000-square-foot original building.
The Breathitt Veterinary Center, part of Murray State University’s Hutson School of Agriculture, is a nationally preeminent animal disease diagnostic laboratory dedicated to protecting the invaluable assets of the region’s equine, livestock and poultry industries by providing the fastest, most accurate and most dependable animal disease diagnostic services possible. The center offers a broad range of tests for diagnostic services primarily to the livestock, poultry and equine industries of Kentucky and bordering states of Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana.
The center also affords valuable educational and experiential learning opportunities for Murray State students who are pursuing degrees through the Hutson School of Agriculture.
The speaker’s program featured many individuals representing the University, Kentucky agriculture and government including Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles, Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy Director Warren Beeler, Kentucky Farm Bureau Executive Vice President David Beck, Murray State President Bob Davies, Murray State Board of Regents Vice Chair Susan Guess, Murray State Dean of the Hutson School of Agriculture Tony Brannon, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, Breathitt Veterinary Center Director Debbie Reed, and Mike Foster, representing the Breathitt family.
Opening remarks were given by Tony Brannon. Proclaiming it a “great day for Murray State and Murray State agriculture,” Brannon credited a variety of individuals and organizations in sharing the recognition, including former Breathitt Veterinary Center directors, veterinarians, farmers and citizens of the commonwealth and the Hopkinsville area.
Governor Matt Bevin presented an acclamation paying tribute to the Breathitt Veterinary Center to Murray State University President Bob Davies and Debbie Reed, director of the Breathitt Veterinary Center.
The history of the Breathitt Veterinary Center dates back more than 50 years. In 1966, Governor Edward T. “Ned” Breathitt signed a bond issue providing $875,000 for construction of an animal disease diagnostic laboratory in Hopkinsville. The original structure was a 19,000-square-foot facility. This was the nation’s first fully accredited laboratory by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.
New and enhanced features of the current facility include a Biosafety Level III Suite, which handles high impact diseases and bioterrorism agents; a large seminar room that is available for local groups to use, such as veterinarians for continuing-education purposes; and a more functional design with diagnostic, educational, conference and research areas that allows for a greater degree of use and increased biosecurity throughout the facility.