Tennessee university to teach how to keep food supplies safe
The Department of Homeland Security has selected the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine as the lead institution for training communities and farmers in how to protect the nation’s food supply from terrorists.
Funded with a $2 million grant, the program, through UT’s Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparedness, will reach across the agricultural spectrum, from crops to dairies to meat processors, The Associated Press reports.
“We will be training industry folks to assess their own facilities for vulnerability to someone coming in and intentionally contaminating their product,” says Dr. Sharon Thompson, the center’s director. “Then we take it to the next step – what they can do to harden those targets and actually move into a prevention perspective.”
Every producer will have their own problems and solutions, she said. Working from real-world examples, the instructors in the three-day courses will try to offer practical suggestions “because we know that an individual farmer can’t afford to do everything.”
The first classes will be tried out this year in sessions in Tennessee, New Mexico and California. The program will roll out nationally next year. Some 34 sessions will be offered around the country, free to participants.