The new Vermont Agricultural and Environmental Laboratory, located on the campus of the Vermont Technical College in Randolph, Vermont.
In August 2011, Tropical Storm Irene flooded the Waterbury State Complex destroying the shared Agency of Agriculture, Food & Market’s and Agency of Natural Resources’ laboratory facilities. The labs and occupants were re-located to temporary facilities throughout Washington and Chittenden Counties while the planning and design for a new facility was underway. Despite the many hardships it caused, the flood provided an opportunity for the two agencies strategize and discuss the merging of the AAFM Agriculture and ANR La Rosa Environmental Labs into a single laboratory. In July 2015, the Vermont Agriculture and Environmental Laboratory (VAEL) was formed. VAEL is housed under AAFM but provides analytical testing services to AAFM, ANR and other organizations.
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The VAEL Facility
Construction of the new facility (also coined VAEL) on the Vermont Technical College Randolph Center Campus began in December 2017 and was completed in February 2019. The VAEL facility is home to the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Market’s VT Agriculture and Environmental Laboratory (VAEL, the lab) along with the AAFM’s Weights & Measures, Plant Industry, and Animal Pathology Labs and the Agency of Natural Resources’ Ambient Biomonitoring, Fish Health and Forest Entomology Labs. Nearly 8 years after the loss of the Waterbury complex, these programs are back under the same roof, in a state of art facility that fosters cross-disciplinary and inter-agency collaborations.