Teamwork characterizes state response to bovine TB outbreak
Bovine tuberculosis places an economic burden on livestock producers.
Since the 11th case of bovine tuberculosis (TB) was discovered in northwest Minnesota beef cattle herds earlier this year, the state has moved swiftly to coordinate eradication efforts among multiple agencies, including Extension.
Led by Minnesota Department of Agriculture Assistant Commissioner Joe Martin, the response ensures a unified approach in dealing with the disease. Extension is an active partner, providing research-based education to help producers handle management decisions that take into consideration the impact of the infectious disease.
University faculty, including Extension Beef Team members Alfredo DiConstanzo, Grant Crawford, Lori Schott and Ryon Walker, have reached out to producers by conducting coffee shop meetings and marketing workshops, advising on biosecurity measures, and providing other educational programming both in the impacted area and throughout the state. In addition, seven research projects focused on bovine TB have received $386,000 of special funding from the University's Rapid Agricultural Response Fund.
"Bovine TB poses a serious economic threat to Minnesota livestock production and requires a team effort," says Extension Dean Bev Durgan. "This funding will help provide research-based answers to questions about how to control this disease."
The State Board of Animal Health has applied to U.S. Department of Agriculture for a Split State Status, which, if approved, would enable much of the state to upgrade its TB status.