Enhancing Ohio’s Food Safety and Security
The Plant and Animal Agrosecurity Research (PAAR) facility is a highly secure biocontainment building. It is required by federal law for conducting research with organisms that cause diseases in animals classified at biosafety level 3 (BSL-3 and/or BSL-3 Ag). It is also needed for working with plant diseases that could cause undue economic hardship on agriculture if released into the environment.
PAAR is the only facility in Ohio and one of only two nationally with mission for both plant and animal research at the BSL-3 and BSL-3 Ag safety levels. Another three facilities nationwide have the BSL-3 Ag safety level designation for animal-related research only. The Ohio State University has a BSL-3 labs on its Columbus campus, but PAAR is the first BSL-3 facility on the Wooster campus and the university’s first BSL-3 Ag facility.
PAAR enhances OARDC’s nationally and internationally recognized research programs on infectious diseases of plants and animals — further contributing to the viability of Ohio’s $90-plus billion agricultural sector, the state’s largest industry. The facility will allow Ohio to proactively develop new diagnostic tools, treatments, vaccines to reduce economic losses from diseases and pests. It enhances OARDC’s ability to attract highly competitive faculty and grants to the state.