K-State Research and Extension agents, who participated in earlier workshops, are certified to bring Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Planning (S-CAP) workshops to more counties across Kansas.
Workshops Bring Community Stakeholders Together
In 2010, Kansans from several counties came together to strengthen their communities’ resilience in the potential face of disaster.
K-State Research and Extension hosted Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Planning (S-CAP) workshops for Sedgwick, Seward, Scott, and surrounding counties to help ensure that agriculture was properly addressed in county emergency plans.
The workshops brought together agricultural producers, county emergency managers, veterinarians, law enforcement officers, extension agents, agribusiness representatives, and others to identify agricultural assets in counties and make sure those assets were addressed in county emergency plans.
“The workshop in Seward County was a great opportunity for local producers to come to the table with community and state planners and responders to look at both what has been done to protect our ag infrastructure and also to help guide the process into the future,” said Greg Standard, Seward County emergency manager. “Participation of local and regional producers is critical to the success of our plans to protect American agriculture. Developing clear understanding of everyone’s positions, perspective, and expectations is facilitated in this workshop environment.”
“I believe that this time was critical to getting many people onboard with our work to plan for our local community,” he added.
The workshops were supported by the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN), a collaborative multistate effort to improve the delivery of services to citizens affected by disasters. Farm Credit Associations of Kansas supported the workshops.
The events were designed to address how to handle agricultural issues during a disaster, to improve networking among stakeholders who can plan for and respond to emergencies, and to develop community agrosecurity planning teams who will establish or enhance agrosecurity components within existing local emergency operations plans.
“Many counties in states across the country have a plan that includes agriculture, but many more don’t,” said Billy Dictson, director of the Office of Biosecurity in the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center at New Mexico State University and one of the workshop presenters.
“It’s an effective way to work through a standard operating procedure,” said Sandy Johnson, homeland security specialist with the Kansas Department of Agriculture. She is working with K-State Research and Extension to bring more S-CAP workshops to Kansas.
Andrea Husband, agrosecurity program coordinator at the University of Kentucky, reminded workshop participants about the toll of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in the United Kingdom in 2001. The direct economic impact from that incident totaled about $3.3 billion (in U.S. dollars) and another $8.3 billion in lost tourism and related industry revenue, she said.
“But it doesn’t take a big outbreak to have a huge economic impact,” Husband added, citing the financial impact sparked by one cow confirmed to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Washington, including beef export losses that ranged from $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion.
“Domestic cattle prices dropped 16 percent in the first week alone, and international trade restrictions still exist,” she said.