From Farm to Table - Food System Biosecurity for Animal Agriculture
February 26, 2016

Each year, the National Institute for Animal Agriculture chooses a theme for its annual conference from the most important and trending topics impacting species across the animal agriculture industry. The 2016 theme, "From Farm to Table - Food System Biosecurity for Animal Agriculture," will focus on identifying risks, challenges and solutions of animal disease epidemics at a time when both the swine and poultry industries are still recovering from much-publicized and economically damaging disease outbreaks.

The speakers for the Small Ruminant Session will offer a perspective on how biosecurity will impact small ruminants and animal agriculture as a whole.

Dr. Glynn Tonsor, Kansas State University, will be addressing the economic risk of animal disease spread and the investment into biosecurity. Tonsor will approach the subject from the regulatory side of food safety and animal health, as well as the practices, choices and incentives that drive decision making on biosecurity.

"Integrity of Risk Assessment Science Underlying USDA Policy" is the title of Dr. Mark Thurmond's presentation to this session. Thurmond, University of California-Davis, will look at the difference between qualitative and quantitative risk assessment in risk modeling, and speak to the process of putting a numerical value on risk.

Dr. Linda Detweiler, Mississippi State University, will present on the subject of "Emergency Response Preparedness: Considerations for the Small Ruminant Industry." She will focus on diseases more specific to the small ruminant industry.

Biosecurity, says Paul Rodgers, American Sheep Industry Association, is relevant to all of animal agriculture. It goes hand in hand with animal care, food security and the economic components of loss. In addition, biosecurity is very important to the small ruminant industry both at home and as it relates to trade.

The NIAA Annual Conference will be held April 4-6 at the Downtown Marriott in Kansas City, Mo. Registration information is available on NIAA's website at