Dairy farmers and the dairy industry should prepare for the possibility of a contagious disease outbreak, such as foot-and-mouth disease.
On Jan. 27 and Feb. 11, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, along with Iowa State University, will host two one-day workshops for dairy producers, processors, veterinarians, Extension employees, emergency responders and others.
The free workshops will focus on how to prepare for a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak and steps that can be taken to protect dairies from foreign animal diseases and diseases already found in the United States.
Danelle Bickett-Weddle, associate director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University, says the goal is to educate people about prevention, and what they need to know if one of these highly contagious diseases is found.
“Farmers will hear how to protect their animals, what to do if this disease is diagnosed, what a ‘movement standstill’ means, and what the farm needs to do to request a movement permit,” she says.
A movement standstill, if issued, could potentially limit the movement of animals, feed and milk, and would be issued by IDALS or USDA.
Bickett-Weddle says foot-and-mouth disease was eradicated from the U.S. in 1929 but is still present in more than two-thirds of the countries around the world.
The workshops include question-and-answer time, allowing dairy farmers to voice their concerns and provide feedback. During her portion of the program, Bickett-Weddle will review the resources available from ISU. She says some of the biosecurity measures producers can take are to limit the contact their animals have with visitors, new animals and other exposures. “Think of your farm as a castle, and do the things you need to do in order to protect it,” she advises.
Workshop dates and locations
One workshop will be offered Jan. 27 at Sioux Center in northwest Iowa, at Terrace View, 230 St., Andrews Way. The same workshop topics will also be offered Feb. 11 at Calmar in northeast Iowa at the Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation headquarters, 1527 Highway 150 S.
A free lunch will be provided at each workshop, and preregistration is encouraged. Check-in starts at 8:15 a.m., with workshops ending at 3 p.m. Registration must be made through IDALS. Register by emailing fad@IowaAgriculture.gov, or calling 515-281-5305. Prior to the workshop, attendees are encouraged to view the Midwest Dairy Foot-and-Mouth Disease Webinar.