The Volunteers launch center to train farmers and food producers to guard against terrorism

Published 17 October 2006

As the fear of agroterrorism grows, DHS and other U.S. government agencies fund a University of Tennessee center to educate farmers and communities on how to prepare for and cope with terrorism against the U.S. food supply

The University of Tennessee is launching a new center to train communities and farmers to protect the U.S. food supply from terrorists. The center, called the Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparedness, is funded with a $2 million grant from DHS and will address safeguards which can be applied across the agricultural spectrum — from crops to dairies to meat processors.

We will be training industry folks, in particular, to assess their own facilities for vulnerability to someone coming in and intentionally contaminating their product,” said Dr. Sharon Thompson, center director. “Then we take it to the next step — what they can do to harden those targets and actually move into a prevention perspective,” she said.

Trial runs of the classes are planned this year in sessions in Tennessee, New Mexico, and California. The program will roll out nationally next year. Some thirty-four sessions will be offered around the country, free to participants. University of Tennessee included representatives from New Mexico, California, Virginia, Iowa, and Louisiana on its training development team to broaden its scope.

-read more in this news release