POSTED: Friday, September 23, 2011 - 8:49am
UPDATED: Saturday, September 24, 2011 - 8:20pm
Hopes are fading that the Kika De La Garza Subtropical Agricultural Research Center will remain open in the future.
The center is run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture since 1931 in Weslaco and is one of ten such research centers targeted for closing because of congressional budget cuts. The facility has survived similar closure threats in the past but this time there's not much cause for optimism. The center employs 113 scientists, technicians and other staffers. It's the only lab on the U.S. mainland that researches tropical diseases and pest and is vital to protect the U.S. from cross border contamination.