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K-State Today

February 22, 2016

Spring Ag Symposium to highlight current biosecurity issues

Submitted by Nathan Laudan

Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity at Kansas State University will host the second Spring Agricultural Symposium from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, in the Leadership Studies Building's Town Hall. This year's topic will be biosecurity.

With the construction of the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, an ever-increasingly globalized society and growing demand for food biosecurity remains an important conversation topic to not only our local Manhattan community, but a state and national issue.

The event will feature five speakers covering a variety of species and scopes of the biosecurity issue:

  • Marty Vanier '79, '81, is the director of the National Agricultural Biosecurity Center and will start the symposium off covering what biosecurity is and why it is a national threat.
  • Dan Thomson, Jones professor of production medicine and epidemiology at K-State, is the former director of the Beef Cattle Institute. He will focus on biosecurity risks within the cattle industry.
  • Randy Stoecker '70, is the past president of Murphy Brown Western Operations, a division of Smithfield Foods. Stoecker has spent more than 30 years in the pork industry and has been noted for his vision and innovation. He will cover the pork industry and threats of biosecurity.
  • Stormy Walker is the senior technical consultant for Elanco Animal Health, Poultry Division. Her work with Elanco allows her to have extensive knowledge of the biosecurity concerns that face the poultry industry.
  • Jackie McClaskey '93, '14, was appointed secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture in December 2013. With her role, she is acutely aware of the threats that concern the state of Kansas and her doctoral dissertation analyzed foreign animal disease response policy.

This event is free to the public and all are invited to attend. Each speaker will have approximately 15-20 minutes to speak and time for a panel discussion and questions will be left at the end.

The moderator for the evening is Loren Kruse '70, past editor of 32 years for Successful Farming magazine. We hope you can join us for an engaging and informative discussion from leaders in biosecurity. For more information please contact Nathan Laudan at nwlaudan@k-state.edu or Garrett Lister at garrett.c.lister@gmail.com.