December 2017 ADBCAP Newsletter

A farm in Texas, USA

Like the child conductor embodied in this sculpture in Mankato, MN, I enjoy leading this project with playful enthusiasm. Matt Myers assisted in designing and facilitating the project team meeting that took place in Mankato in June where the talents of the team were shared and celebrated. Plenty of opportunities were provided for team members to interact across disciplines. This led to productive discussions and solid plans for moving forward. Several members of the team joined advisor Steve Dritz at the headquarters of Christensen Farms (CF) for a visit and tour. We learned how their management team has integrated new layers of biosecurity into protecting the health of sows and hogs in their system. Based on the demonstrated potential for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) to spread through contaminated feed (or vehicles), CF created a tiered biosecurity designation of sites within their system and directs feed deliveries accordingly. We also visited one of the truck/trailer wash bays, which are an essential part of their system biosecurity program.

Julie Smith DVM, PhD, is a research associate professor at the University of Vermont. Julie received her B.S. in Biological Sciences, D.V.M., and Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition at Cornell University. Since joining the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences in 2002, she has applied her veterinary background to programs in the areas of herd health, calf and heifer management, and agricultural emergency management. She is responsible for teaching the undergraduate Animal Welfare class required of majors in her department. Julie has conducted trainings for Extension educators, livestock producers, and community members on the risks posed by a range of animal diseases, whether they already exist in the United States, exist outside of the United States, or pose a risk to both animal and human health. In all cases, she emphasizes the importance of awareness and prevention. As a veterinarian and spouse of a dairy farmer, Julie is well aware of the animal health and well-being concerns of dairy animals. She is currently leading the ADBCAP, a multi-species, multi-state project looking at the human behavioral aspects of implementing practices to protect animal health and food security.

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