About Food Safety and Bioterrorism

The Food Safety and Bioterrorism Program supports the goal to enhance and maintain agricultural and food production systems within the focus area: Agricultural Profitability and Sustainable Use of Environmental Resources. Through this program, the following outreach and extension activities conducted are:

Herd Health and Management Practices: This program focuses on the control of internal parasites in small ruminants. The objectives are:

 

  • To provide technical assistance and information on farm management practices to farmers in the northwestern counties of Florida and conduct a comparative study on the efficacy of worm medications (Moxidectin, Ivermectin and Sheep Oral Cydectin Drench) in meat goats and sheep and to provide information on management and health practices and feeding.
  • To evaluate fecal samples for intestinal parasites and determine the effects on intestinal parasites on animals and compared effectiveness of (dewormers) on animal health, bodyweight and performance of the animals.

 

The potential audience is small ruminant producers (goats and sheep) who need assistance with controlling intestinal parasites that can be devastating to their animals. The activitiesinclude providing information on farm management practices to farmers in North Florida; conducting herd health studies to improve animal health and productivity of animals and making farm visits to collect data on body weight and fecal sample for analysis.
Positive impact is made as farmers gain information and are better able to determine how long they can wait before treating animals and reducing the amount of times animals were treated, reduced animal health costs and overall production costs. Results help determine the proper protocol for treatment of animals for intestinal parasites using the dewormers and how often the animals should be treated.

 


 

Healthful, Value-added Goat Product Development. The objectives are:

 

  • To collaborate with county agents and goat producers and meat processors in the development of value-added products from goats (i.e. milk, cheese, and meat products);
  • To increase consumers awareness of the benefits of goat meat at a variety of events and activities including conferences, workshops, exhibitions and the Annual Goat Day held in Blountstown, Calhoun County of goat meat and the products.

 

The potential audience includes small ruminant producers and other patrons attending the various events. The activities include:

 

  • Collaborating with county agents, goat and sheep producers, meat processors and the Florida Meat Goat Association to encourage participation in goat field day events;
  • Providing information to consumers attending events including conferences, workshops, exhibitions, educational tours and the Annual Goat Day held in Blountstown, Calhoun County including interactions with the animals and sampling various products based on various criteria and;
  • Developing numerous goat products including milk, cheese and meat products for sampling based on various criteria.

 

The anticipated impact is to increase awareness of consumers of attending events including conferences, workshops, exhibitions and the Annual Goat Day held in Blountstown, Calhoun County of goat meat and the products. Increased consumer education will result in increased awareness and consumption of goat meat and value-added products.

 


 

Bioterrorism Awareness Education Program for small, mid-sized and economically disadvantaged family farms and other populations. The objectives are:

 

  • To increase the awareness and knowledge of on-farm bio-security and assessment of present on-farm security in areas of production systems, harvesting, processing, handling, distribution and marketing of food products is needed to determine the changes that are needed to improve bio-security and reduce vulnerability and to enhance the capabilities of farms' bio-security and homeland security.

 

The potential audience is small animal producers who should be made aware of the potential impact that zoonotic disease-causing organisms can have on humans and animals and their role and responsibility in response to bioterrorism on farms or in the general population. The activities include conducting workshops and presenting information at workshops on Bioterrorism Awareness Education: Zoonotic Diseases to small, limited resource and economically disadvantaged and other Goat and Sheep Producers attending Goat Certification Course. The projected impact is that these small animal producers should have increased awareness of the potential impact that zoonotic disease-causing organisms can have on humans and animals and their role and responsibility in response to bioterrorism on farms or in the general population.

 


 

Disaster and Emergency Preparedness for Small Ruminant Producers. The objectives are:

 

  • To provide information to small livestock producers and the public that will allow them to be aware of, how to plan, recognize, respond, recover, prevent and reduce the potential impacts of various disasters and emergencies and on the agencies that are responsible to provide needed assistance during hurricane season.
  • To increase the awareness and knowledge of on-farm disaster and emergency preparedness on-farm security in areas of production systems, harvesting, processing, handling, distribution and marketing of food products is needed to determine the changes that are needed to improve preparedness and reduce vulnerability of farms to disastrous events.

 

The potential audience is small ruminant producers who should develop an emergency plan for their families and animal facilities that includes evaluation of facilities location, evaluation of the vulnerabilities of the facilities and develop a plan for mitigation, preparation, response, recovery and ongoing planning for disasters. The activities include conducting workshops and presenting information at workshops on Disaster and Emergency Preparedness to small, limited resource and economically disadvantaged and others Goat and Sheep producers attending Goat Certification Course. Attend continuing education courses provided by the Florida Department of Health and Consumers Services, Office of Agricultural Emergency Preparedness and other agencies. The projected impact is that farmers will have enhanced awareness of the specific considerations that should be addressed well in advance of any disaster or emergency that included proper records, agencies for disaster assistance, preparatory and preventive measures, livestock/disaster insurance, State Animal Response Team (SART) and SART participating agencies. Good record keeping is essential and should include photos of animals for identification to prove ownership.

 


 

Development of Small-Scale Aquaculture Farms in North Florida. The objectives are:

 

  • To improve agricultural and environmental knowledge/skills and;
  • To improve management systems, procedures, and/or techniques to maintain or improve water quality and best management practices. Cleaned and prepared ponds for production and operate a tank-pond re-circulating system.

 

The potential audience is small farmers who may have or may not have existing water bodies and are interested in small scale aquaculture (fish and fresh water prawns) production.

The activities include continual development at revitalizing the ponds at FAMU Research Center and Farm to monitoring water quality and conducting research projects with blue gills, freshwater prawns and sturgeon. Conducting workshops and hands on training for farmers on producing various fish species and fresh water prawns. Visit farmers to provide technical assistance and information on various aspects of aquaculture program to assess facilities and conduct on-site training. Prepare and submit proposals to obtain external funding for project.

The projected impact is for farmers to increase knowledge of best and alternative management practices for aquaculture production and development of small scale fish and fresh water prawn production enterprises. Also, this project serves as experiential learning for undergraduate students who will be involved in preparation of ponds, collecting and analyzing water samples, maintenance of ponds and project facility, and data entry and analysis.

Program Leader: Uford A. Madden, DVM, MS, PhD, DABT
Assistant Professor, Extension Food Safety Specialist
Florida Cooperative Extension Service, College of Engineering Sciences, Technology, and Agriculture, Florida A&M University
202-D Perry-Paige Building, South
Tallahassee, Florida 32307
Telephone: (850) 412-5253
Fax: (850) 561-2151
E-mail: uford.madden@famu.edu