Anyone who has looked at pictures from the UK, Japan, or South Korea during their confrontations with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the past decade has probably asked themselves whether “we” would be better prepared or more effective in our response if FMD were found in the US. I have been following several developments that demonstrate the US has learned lessons from other countries’ experiences. One key shift in policy has been the incorporation of vaccination into the decision-tree of approaches that could be implemented, depending on the location, affected species, and potential spread of the disease. Research currently focuses on developing vaccines with more rapid effectiveness and those that enable distinguishing vaccinated animals from infected animals by use of a DIVA (differentiate infected from vaccinated animals) test. Another key shift in response strategy has been the realization that miles of trenches may not be the best answer to disposing of animals that must be depopulated. Capturing value through slaughter, rendering, or composting may be more desirable outcomes. Minimizing the need for depopulation (and for digging trenches) is something that producers and stakeholders can influence by following everyday and emergency biosecurity protocols.