Simulation modeling

Evaluating Resilience of Vermont’s Dairy Industry through Simulation Modeling

Foreign and emerging highly contagious animal diseases are an unpredictable threat to US animal agriculture. To reduce the impact of the incursion of such a disease, like foot-and-mouth disease, computer-generated simulations of disease spread can be useful tools for gaining understanding of factors that impact the rate of disease spread and of robust approaches to controlling the same. The dairy industry is the predominant livestock sector in Vermont, so the simulations conducted in this project are limited to disease spread among dairy farms in Vermont and neighboring states. Simulations will be conducted using the North American Animal Disease Spread Model (NAADSM), an open-source herd-based state transition model implementing stochastic and spatial-temporal aspects of disease spread. Using contact information collected with previous Agricultural Experiment Station funding and sensitivity analysis of several model parameters, the goal of this modeling project is to support decision-making among animal health authorities and industry members to best prepare for and respond to a highly contagious animal disease incident affecting cattle.

Project leaders: Julie M. Smith (ASCI)

Funding agency: Competitive Hatch funding through VT AES

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