House Ag Committee talks animal disease prevention, HPAI mitigation


Jenny Moffitt, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture

The House Ag Subcommittee on livestock, dairy, and poultry held a hearing Tuesday to review USDA animal disease prevention and response efforts.

While there, Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Jennifer Moffitt, highlighted efforts to limit the ongoing impact of highly pathogenic avian flu.

“There are a lot of different things that we’re doing. First off, I want to highlight biosecurity. We’ve worked with producers and the producer industry has also worked with producers on developing more robust biosecurity plans and training for those biosecurity plans so that they’re implemented by producers. We’ve seen a reduction in lateral spread, which is spread between house to house from 70% in the 2015 outbreak to around 15-16% in this current outbreak. So, a big significant reduction there. We have more to do. We know, as you mentioned, the virus is prevalent in the wild bird population. So how do we reduce the attractiveness of the farms from wild bird populations is another avenue that we’re looking at,” Moffitt said before the committee.

Moffit told the dais to date, USDA has tested more than two million wild birds to get a better understanding of how the disease is spreading in the wild.

Right now, nearly 60 million birds have died since the outbreak began over a year ago.


Starting Monday, April 29, the USDA will require free avian flu (HPAI H5N1) testing on all dairy cattle before interstate travel. Positive cases must be directly reported to the USDA for tracing.
However, economists say land values could falter if commodity prices fall in the New Year.
With the New Year comes new ideas, and lawmakers are still trying to find ways to fund the Farm Bill.
The United Soybean Board representatives say export and trade development is critical for increasing international demand.
It is National Farm Safety and Health Week—a time dedicated to recognizing the critical importance of safety on the farm. The National Education Center for Ag Safety (NECAS) usually hosts this week-long event during mid-September so farmers are reminded to prioritize their safety during the harvest season.
Analysts with the Propane Education & Research Council say the outlook for propane prices is positive for the fall harvest season.
Agriculture Shows
From soil to harvest. Top Crop is an all-new series about four of the best farmers in the world—Dan Luepkes, of Oregan, Illinois; Cory Atley, of Cedarville, Ohio; Shelby Fite, of Jackson Center, Ohio; Russell Hedrick, of Hickory, North Carolina—reveals what it takes for them to make a profitable crop. It all starts with good soil, patience, and a strong planter setup.
Champions of Rural America is a half-hour dive into the legislative priorities for Rural America. Join us as we interview members of the Congressional Western Caucus to learn about efforts in Washington to preserve agriculture and tackles the most important topics in the ag industry on Champions of Rural America!
Farm Traveler is for people who want to connect with their food and those who grow it. Thanks to direct-to-consumer businesses, agritourism, and social media, it’s now easier than ever to learn how our food is made and support local farmers. Here on the Farm Traveler, we want to connect you with businesses offering direct-to-consumer products you can try at home, agritourism sites you can visit with your family, and exciting new technologies that are changing how your food is being grown.
Featuring members of Congress, federal and state officials, ag and food leaders, farmers, and roundtable panelists for debates and discussions.
Host Ben Bailey hops in the tractor cab, giving farmers 10 minutes to answer as many questions and grab as much cash as they can for their local FFA chapter.