New Mexico Department of Agriculture Bio Security Director, Kelly Hamilton, recently attended the White House Roundtable on national preparedness representing NASDA. “I leave D.C. with a new perspective on the preparedness posture for the nation as a whole, but particularly regarding agriculture. It seems that at the present time, preparedness work is centering around drought and flooding caused by climate change.” Concerns about animal disease devastating production herds, plant pathogens and other types of unintentional or intentional incidents appear to be taking a backseat to climate change mitigation.
Hamilton feels that it is more important now than ever that agriculture have a voice in our nation’s preparedness. “Unless our message from agriculture does not include climate change in some fashion, it is not going to get heard by this administration and quite possibly the incoming administration.”
One talked about initiative in the preparedness posture that is beneficial for agriculture production is the concept of whole of community preparedness. If done correctly, this concept allows agriculture a seat at the table and recognition of its importance in most communities throughout the nation. When we synchronize our preparedness and are able to marshal our individual resources both in the public sector and private sector, we are a more resilient nation to prepare, prevent, respond mitigate and recover for any sort of incident affecting agriculture.
Another focus area receiving attention and discussion that greatly affects agriculture was security of the “supply chain.” Both inputs into agriculture production operations and the outputs need to be secured at all points in transportation.
Nationwide, an area that the nation has shown a decline in preparedness is in cyber security, according to the 2016 National Preparedness Report.
Hamilton may be reached at email@example.com.