USDA is providing more than $43 million in state grants and cooperative agreements to bolster homeland security for agriculture.

The funding is part of a $328-million spending package approved by President Bush and Congress earlier this year to upgrade USDA’s homeland security.

The $43 million will be used for a variety of efforts to strengthen the food supply infrastructure. Some $20.6 million will go for establishing a network of diagnostic laboratories to perform rapid diagnosis of animal disease threats. Fourteen million dollars is slotted for bolstering state capabilities to respond to animal health emergencies; $4.5 million will be used to strengthen state surveillance for animal disease; and $4.3 million is allocated to improve states’ abilities to detect plant pests and diseases.