UT Summit on Agroterrorism and Bioterrorism

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The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and the UT Health Science Center are hosting a summit on agroterrorism and bioterrorism Thursday, July 17 and Friday, July 18 at the Health Science Center.

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and the UT Health Science Center are hosting a summit on agroterrorism and bioterrorism on July 17 and 18. The summit is designed to foster collaboration between state officials and the university and to encourage the exchange of information among the departments within the university system.

Dr. Sharon Thompson, director of partnership programs with the College of Veterinary Medicine, says the need for the summit is great. “If the different departments within the university know what others are doing to address agroterrorism and bioterrorism, we can coordinate our efforts, share resources, dovetail research and meet more security needs of Tennesseans.”

Thompson chairs the UT Institute of Agriculture Homeland Security Coordinating Committee. She says communication is paramount. “This meeting will open a dialogue between those involved in addressing agroterrorism and bioterrorism concerns in Tennessee. State officials will discuss their current work in these areas and describe their needs. University officials will cite their current and planned efforts and will determine how the university can meet the state”s needs,” Thompson said.

Other committee members from the Institute of Agriculture include Dr. Alan Mathew, professor and head of the Department of Animal Science, and Tim Prather, an Extension specialist in the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Environmental Science. The Institute is collaborating with the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and other state agencies to develop a program to train farmers and veterinarians across the state in procedures for preventing and responding to agroterrorism and bioterrorism.

Research is also an important component of the University”s role in homeland security.

The two-day summit will be held at the Cecil B. Humphries Education Building. For more information about the program visit the Web site: http://132.192.64.52/Bioterrorism_Summit/home.htm

The summit can also be viewed via videoconference on the UT Knoxville campus at Studio C, Room 61, Communications Building.