October 29, 2019

With another government funding deadline looming a month from now, Senate Republicans want to advance a fiscal 2020 domestic spending package as soon as this week that would include funding for departments and agencies critical to agriculture and the food industry. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has teed up votes on a pair of FY20 spending packages, one of which is expected to include the Senate version of the Agriculture and Interior-Environment bills, which would fund the Agriculture Department, Food and Drug Administration, Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. Senate passage of the package will allow the House and Senate to negotiate a final version of the measures. Read more

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is hosting a free webinar called “Steps for Success: Your NPIP Biosecurity Audit” on November 6, 2019 from 2:30-3:30PM EST. The webinar will share important information with commercial poultry producers to help them meet the upcoming National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) audit requirement. Register today at

To help producers make sure that their biosecurity practices comply with the 14 NPIP principles, USDA has brought together a team of experts to provide practical, hands-on recommendations, including:

  • Dr. Elena Behnke, National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), USDA APHIS Veterinary Services – Dr. Behnke has worked as a poultry laboratory clinician, a poultry technical services veterinarian, and a primary breeder veterinarian
  • Dr. Chrislyn Wood Nicholson, Veterinary Medical Officer/Poultry Specialist, USDA APHIS Veterinary Services – Dr. Wood Nicholson has devoted her career to educating industry about biosecurity and received numerous awards for her dedicated efforts
  • Dr. Julie Helm, Official State Agent for NPIP for South Carolina – Dr. Helm has been the poultry veterinarian for Clemson University Livestock Poultry Health for more than 20 years, specializing in poultry disease diagnosis and prevention
  • Dr. Kristi Scott, Staff Veterinarian and HACCP Manager at ISE America – Dr. Scott is responsible for taking care of the health and welfare of approximately seven million layer chickens, maintaining a Pasteurized Egg Products Lab, and maintaining food safety programs for eight processing plants

USDA offers a full complement of educational materials as part of its Defend the Flock program. All Defend the Flock materials, including checklists, videos, webinars, and educational resources, are available at no charge 24/7 at the Defend the Flock Resource Center. For more information on the program, visit Defend The Flock.

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