The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is conducting training to assist Iowa farmers and first responders in emergency preparedness protocols. Agroville is the name of the program that is designed to educate participants on how to respond to a livestock disease outbreak.

So far, six Agroville programs have taken place across Iowa, with additional sessions planned for next spring and summer. Organizers suggest making plans now to attend one of the free upcoming sessions.

The sessions start with Patrick Webb, DVM, presenting a condensed version of the Kirkwood Community College’s Ag Terror Course-- a terrorism course for first responders that the Office of Domestic Preparedness has approved. Mark Shearer, with IDALS, provides an overview of the Iowa Veterinary Response Teams. Then, afternoon break-out groups develop and review county infectious animal disease response plans.

Suggested participants include: emergency management officials, law enforcement, fire departments (including haz-materials teams), emergency medical services, veterinarians, producerts/farmers, agriculture industry representatives, interested community leaders, public and environmental health agency personnel.

For information on the program, go to the IDALS Web site http://hls.extension.iastate.edu/calendar/ or calling (515) 281-6657.

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management