The National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program launched FARM Biosecurity–Enhanced this fall, releasing a 45-minute online training and the FARM Biosecurity–Enhanced database. This second arm of the FARM Biosecurity Program works in conjunction with FARM Everyday Biosecurity to provide dairy farmers with the tools and best management practices they need to protect their herds and their employees. It’s the latest way the FARM Program is working to assist farmers in meeting current and future challenges.
Enhanced levels of biosecurity will be needed to protect dairy against the highly contagious foot and mouth disease (FMD), which is found in two-thirds of the world, should a case ever occur here. One FMD case in the United States would shut down movement of livestock and their products across the nation for at least 72 hours; it would also halt international trade. The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak impacting the poultry industry is a current example of the havoc a disease can cause. Since the start of the outbreak in February 2022, 76 million birds have been affected, with 1,032 flocks detected with HPAI.
The tools for FARM Biosecurity–Enhanced were developed through a cooperative agreement between the National Milk Producers Federation and USDA’s National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program. The program incorporates the Secure Milk Supply (SMS) Plan for Continuity of Business, which was designed by federal and state animal health officials, industry, and academic experts to help the dairy industry prepare for an FMD outbreak by providing producers with the tools to develop an enhanced biosecurity plan. The FARM Biosecurity–Enhanced database not only securely stores the plans, but — with producer permission — will share the plans with state animal health officials for their approval to speed up issuing a movement permit in the event of an FMD outbreak.
To access the FARM Biosecurity–Enhanced database, users must first take the training, which was developed in four parts:
- Introducing biosecurity
- The basics of creating an enhanced biosecurity plan
- How to protect dairy operations
- Managing movements
The training is available to anyone who would like to learn more about developing an enhanced biosecurity plan. To complement the training, an enhanced biosecurity prep guide and database user guide were developed. Lastly, video tutorials on how to input plans into the database and how state animal health officials can review the plans are available on the FARM website.
In addition to the FARM Biosecurity–Enhanced resources, FARM Everyday Biosecurity resources are available, including the Everyday Biosecurity manual. Everyday Biosecurity provides dairy farmers with the tools to protect the health of their herds and employees from “everyday” bugs, such as contagious mastitis, respiratory infections, and scours. Integrating basic biosecurity principles is the first step to being able to protect herds from a foot and mouth disease outbreak should it enter the United States again.
If you are interested in taking the enhanced biosecurity training, email firstname.lastname@example.org.