The High Impact Practice in Agriculture: Biosecurity
Geoffroy, Lynn, Dr,
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As farms around the world continue to grow and expand their operations to meet the needs of the increasing population, so does the concerns for the safety of their farms and products. Disease prevention for livestock and consumer goods has progressively become a routine practice on farm establishments, so much so that programs are often specifically designed for each farm. The concept of biosecurity, or the level of disease protection, is applied to the development of such programs, to help minimize the introduction of disease and disease being transferred in between farms, as well as limit the spread of pathogens that may already be present. Though some aspects of these biosecurity plans may require the assistance of a veterinarian or licensed professional, most program practices can be installed and maintained through the farm management or staff. Boot wash stations are utilized as a part of the first line of defense for biosecurity insurance; however, the impact of their effectiveness is often regarded as allusive. To address this, a boot wash station was designed, constructed and installed, followed by a cleaning and swabbing of the boots to test for microbial growth. Evaluating the microbial growth on an agar plate will identify whether or not a boot wash station is a powerful biosecurity device that all farms should employ. This information will not only help impact the endurance of a boot wash station; rather, it will influence the prevention of disease on farms and the safety of our food supply and livestock.