Kansas State to lead workshop on biosecurity for agriculture

The Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment and Cooperative Extension Service and the Extension Disaster Education network has organized a workshop in Liberal, Kansas, to prepare for potential bioterrorist threats and other disasters.

The Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Planning Workshop will discuss and develop plans that will allow first responders and those involved with agrobusiness to respond to agriculture emergencies.

"We are a hub for a lot of agriculture here." Mike Hanson, Seward County K-State Extension Director, told the Southwest Times. "I think a big part of it is knowing what people's roles will be, networking, knowing the people you work with and communicating amongst each other."

The workshop will focus on how the community can work together to fix problems while minimizing the impacts of an emergency as Liberal, Kansas' location makes it a critical area for protection. Livestock from Liberal is funneled through Highways 83 and 54 nationwide.

"The quicker we can isolate the outbreak of any disease, in the smallest area possible, we can more quickly have it gone and be back to regular business," Greg Standard, Seward County Emergency Management Coordinator, told the Southwest Times.

Standard also said that by allowing the community to discuss plans for any future attack or disaster at this workshop allows the community to plan and eliminate problems that a larger response team could fall prone to.

"Any response to any type of emergency or event would have hundreds of people responding," Standard said. "If only three of them know what the plan is, or how we are going to respond, there will be a lot of misunderstanding."