The American Farm Bureau Federation is asking President George Bush to appoint a specialist within the Homeland Security Office to safeguard agriculture and the nation's food supply from terrorism. The new office is headed by Gov. Tom Ridge. Bob Stallman, AFBF president, requested that Ridge be allowed ot appoint a high-level staff position to focus on agroterrorism prevention.

"As the nation and the world prepare to embark on a war against terrorism there are concerns and speculation regarding how agriculture and other sectors of the economy will be affected," Stallman wrote in a letter to President Bush. "An attack aimed at the safety of our food supply and agricultural infrastructure could cause widespread and long-term damage. We must continue to increase surveillance and ensure that adequate USDA
resources are available to combat any posed biological threat or mobilize against any occurrence."

Farm Bureau also applauded the appointment of Gov. Ridge to Homeland Security Office, stating he "will provide great leadership in overseeing and coordinating a comprehensive national strategy to safeguard our country against terrorism."

American Farm Bureau Federation news release