Northwestern Missouri holds large-scale agroterrorism drill

First responders in northwestern Missouri recently conducted a large-scale agroterrorism exercise near the town of Chillicothe.

Every year, hazmat teams from the area conduct a drill to aid in preparing them for a potential bioagent attack on the region's agriculture, according to

Bill Brinton, the emergency management director of Buchanan County, explained why the exercise is conducted annually.

"Our fear is that some terrorist might bring in some bacteria or germ and cause a widespread incident, and so we practice how to handle it, if it happens," he said, reports. "You play like you practice, and we need to practice our skills and get our equipment out, and so it allows us to make sure that all this stuff we have actually works and we can do what we are supposed to do."

An attack on Missouri's agriculture could contaminate the nation's food supply or destroy the state's economy.

"We really wanted to do an Ag-exercise, because it's such a part of our region, it's throughout our region and critical to our economy," Susan Mires of Northwest Missouri Hazmat said, reports. "It could be spread by wind, by people, by vehicle, that's the biggest thing, how do you contain the disease and stop the spread of it."