Orwell, VT – On Saturday, March 31st, UVM Extension, the Addison County Decontamination Team, Orwell Fire Department and Orwell Rescue participated in an on-farm milk truck cleaning and disinfection drill. The drill allowed local responders to meet their training goals while simultaneously meeting goals of a biosecurity project led by Julie Smith, University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Dairy Specialist. The
drill was conducted in accordance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) structure. The cleaning and disinfection procedure followed guidelines drafted by a national Secure Milk Supply project describing how to safely move milk during a foreign animal disease crisis.
Dr. Julie Smith, on-hand for the drill, explained her goals for the event. “This
project is engaging farmers and community members in Addison County to learn about and prepare for a highly contagious disease of livestock such as foot-and-mouth disease. Today we wanted to see for ourselves what is needed to conduct cleaning and disinfection according to the Secure Milk Supply guidance.”
After the drill was over, responders returned to the Orwell Fire Station to review responder reactions and suggestions from different team members about the unique situation they faced. Tim Bouton, wearing several hats as Addison County Senior Emergency Planner, New Haven Firefighter, and Addison County Decontamination Team member, remarked, “Trainings like this one are good for our teams to participate in. Understanding the potential challenges from a drill like this will make our teams more prepared in case the unthinkable happens.”
The drill could not have taken place without the permission of the Seiferts of Arbutusland Farm in Orwell, the support of Agri-Mark, Inc., and the cooperation of Kenneth Pope and Sons Trucking that provided a milk truck for the drill. The drill is part of an ongoing UVM Extension study which investigates the costs and challenges associated with developing and implementing a community-wide biosecurity plan. This project is funded in part by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2010-85122-20613 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information about the UVM Extension Biosecurity project, contact UVM Extension Outreach Professional Louis Bedor III at louis.bedor-III@uvm.edu.