The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5023.3: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - Board 3

Abstract #56688

Assessing agroterrorism preparedness among Hillsborough county farmers and ranchers

Dorothea A. Larsen, BS, Environmental and Occupational Health, University of South Florida, 13210 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MDC 56, Tampa, FL 33612, (813) 930-2507,

Agroterrorism is used to describe deliberate and malicious actions taken against the agricultural industry or food supply. The results of agroterrorism can include devastating destruction to agriculture, death or illness to humans, social disruption and economic destabilization. In the event of an agroterrorism attack, local farmers and ranchers along with veterinarians are likely to be the first line of defense. Baseline data on agroterrorism awareness and knowledge is needed to guide future interventions. A needs assessment of Hillsborough County Florida farmers and ranchers was conducted in March 2002. The results of the questionnaire revealed that most respondents reported an interest in learning more about agroterrorism. It also showed that 94% of respondents did not consider their property a target for bioterrorism. Only 6% of respondents reported that they were prepared for an agroterrorism event. This lack of preparedness could be an indicator of the potential vulnerability of the agriculture industry. Improvements in awareness and education are needed and could be achieved with relatively low levels of human and financial resources.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Bioterrorism, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Hillsborough County Extension Office
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Innovative Topics in Environmental Health - Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA