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Corn+Soybean Digest

Web Survey Measures Biosecurity Education Needs

Farmers can provide input on biosecurity on the farm through a Web-based survey this fall.

The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) received U.S. Department of Agriculture funds to identify farmers' educational needs on homeland security. The producer survey results will guide what types of educational programs should be offered on agricultural security.

The EDEN survey will be conducted from Sept. 1 through November. To take the survey, producers may visit the EDEN Web site at and then click on "Homeland Security." The survey is anonymous and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. It can be taken anywhere producers have access to the Web, including libraries and Extension offices.

"There are factors, both positive and negative, about whether or not farming and the food supply are at risk to bioterrorism," said Steve Cain, EDEN delegate and Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service specialist. "Whether or not there is a real threat to the American food supply -- even the risks bring up issues that society must deal with."

The EDEN project will help measure agricultural producers' perceptions about biosecurity issues on the farm.

"Since Sept. 11, the news media have done a credible job of providing information about homeland security," Cain said. "But often that information raises questions and debate that can only be addressed with educational programs. This producer survey will help Extension staff nationally, and in each state, determine what direction educational programs should take."

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