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Agrosecurity Training

By: Kelly Barfield
By: Kelly Barfield

Car wrecks and fires are situations first responders are trained to deal with, but what about discolored crops or hoof and mouth disease?

Lowndes County Extension Agent Mickey Fourakers says, "We will be teaching how to recognize plant diseases and animal diseases, some of the symptoms to look for and also what to do when you see it."

In Georgia there's a statewide effort underway to teach first responders about agrosecurity.

Fourakers says, "Our agricultural industry is one of the most open industries there are, because you've got farms, you got no fences, you got no gates, so those are very vulnerable."

Because of that openness and today's real threat of terrorism, it's important to realize vulnerability and be prepared to deal with it should it ever be an issue.

9-1-1 Center Director Nick Lacey says, "Thirteen to 15 percent of our economy comes from agricultural products. You know, we have to eat daily."

State officials say protecting our food supply is just as important as our water or our transportation systems.

It takes a whole community to fight agri-terrorism, but it starts with the farmers.

Fourakers says, "Farmers should be very aware of their farm situation. Any changes, any unusual activities or anything like that, they should be aware of it and take good precautions."

That's why Georgia is teaching these lessons now so everyone, first responders and farmers, can take steps to prevent such attacks.


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