The Feedlot

Frontline Ramifications of Agroterrorism


  • N. C. Speer Department of Agriculture, 1906 College Heights Blvd, PO Box 41066, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101



beef industry, economy, terrorism, Foot and Mouth Disease, food security, biosecurity


The beef industry plays an important role within the American economy mandating special consideration regarding terrorism threats. Deliberate introduction of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) poses the most influential and immediate threat to the industry. Given the lagging nature of identifying an outbreak, the rate of spread of a FMD outbreak would depend on the location of the epicenter(s) of the outbreak(s) and the extent of livestock and human movement out of the infected area(s). However, extended stop-movement orders across important geographical areas could impose serious ramifications upon the beef industry stemming from both direct and indirect economic effects. As such, improvement of security at the feedyard level possesses large upside potential. Ideally, all feedyard operations would operate within completely secure facilities, utilize dedicated and certified supply networks, and possess clearly outlined contingency plans in the event of an emergency. Such investment into basic planning and preventive security measures is critical to preventing potential commerce disruptions in business operations. Terrorism threats are relatively new to agriculture. The looming threat requires the industry to increasingly focus upon food security and requires coalitions across multiple disciplines. Producers at all stages of the production chain need to become increasingly proactive to ensure commerce continuity and avoid catastrophic losses.






Feedlot Sessions