Vet Med Center wins over $5M in Homeland Security grants
Through two new grants totaling $5 million, the College of Veterinary Medicine's Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparedness will have a key role in ensuring the safety of the nation’s food supply and promoting effective response to disasters involving animals.
The grants, two of only 11 awarded by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency, provide support for training related to coordinated response in the event of an animal related disaster and for enhanced information sharing on the importation and transportation of food in the U.S.
UT Vice President for Agriculture Joe DiPietro said it is important that communities have the resources and training in place to either prevent problems or to address them before they become potentially devastating. “Veterinarians play a key role in animal health, food safety, and public health.” Of the grants awarded, CVM received the only ones related to food and agriculture. “The veterinary college takes very seriously its role in protecting public health on a national scale,” DiPietro said.
“The grants continue our already developed leadership role in assisting the nation in protecting its critical infrastructure with a focus on the agriculture and food sectors,” said Sharon Thompson, director of CAFSP. The grants are in addition to a $500,000 grant the center received to continue delivery of its existing DHS training course, which heavily emphasizes public-private sector partnerships and collaboration to more effectively protect and secure the food and agriculture sectors.. “The new funding from DHS validates the work we are doing,” said Thompson. –Sandra Harbison