Dairy cattle in barn

AMES, Iowa — Dairy producers and the industry should prepare in advance for the possibility of a contagious disease outbreak.

On Feb. 11, the Iowa Department of Agriculture, along with Iowa State University, will host a one-day workshop for dairy producers, processors, veterinarians, Extension employees, emergency responders and others, according to an Iowa State news release.

The free workshop will focus on how to prepare for a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak and steps that can be taken to protect dairies from foreign animal diseases and diseases already found in the United States.

Danelle Bickett-Weddle, associate director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University, said the goal is to educate people about prevention and what they need to know if one of these highly contagious diseases is found.

“Farmers will hear how to protect their animals, what to do if this disease is diagnosed, what a ‘movement standstill’ means, and what the farm needs to do to request a movement permit,” Bickett-Weddle said.

A movement standstill could potentially limit the movement of animals, feed and milk, and would be issued by the Iowa Department of Agriculture or the USDA.

“Think of your farm as a castle and do the things you need to do in order to protect it,” she said.

Bickett-Weddle said foot-and-mouth disease was eradicated from the U.S. in 1929 but is still present in more than two-thirds of the countries around the world.

The workshop will be Feb. 11 in Calmar at the Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation, 1527 Highway 150 South, Calmar.

A free lunch will be provided and pre-registration is encouraged. Check-in starts at 8:15 a.m., with workshops ending at 3 p.m. Register by emailing fad@IowaAgriculture.gov, or calling 515-281-5305.

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