; Biosecurity education for the next generation in animal agriculture | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Biosecurity education for the next generation in animal agriculture

Abby Schuft


The presence of an animal disease, domestic or foreign, is a production risk that potentially affects market, financial, legal and human risks. Awareness, development and implementation of biosecurity is essential to managing disease in animal agriculture. Using the premise youth are an agent for change in their household, Extension educators in Minnesota developed curriculum for youth involved with livestock production and exhibition that introduced and taught basic concepts of biosecurity. Species specific lectures, 20 minutes in length, preceded an experiential learning activity demonstrating pathogen spread using GLOgerm ™ when completing chores and activities. The team offered workshops in 18 locations across the state. Over two years, 553 people participated in the program where self-assessed program day knowledge increased (P = 0.001) by an average 38 percentage points. Participants correctly answered four competency questions at the end of the program day (97 - 100%). Six months after the workshop, a follow-up evaluation asked the same four competency questions with similar results (99 – 100%) demonstrating participants retained the biosecurity knowledge over time. At the end of the program day, 82% of the participants agreed or strongly agreed they would write a biosecurity plan or standard operating procedure (SOP) as a result of the education. However, follow-up evaluation indicated only 9% had written something in a six month time frame. Biosecurity education resulted in program day learning gains retained over time. As agents of change, focused efforts should continue with youth about writing a biosecurity plan to ensure long-term individual and family success.