Drew Mogler, the association’s public policy director, says funding is needed to help the ag department prepare for diseases like foot and mouth disease or African swine fever.
“They’ve ramped up some funding efforts for activities,” Mogler says, “and this year, again, we’re supporting them for another half-a-million dollars, for some of those activities as they continue to build up their planning and preparedness efforts alongside the industry.”
He notes that’s the primary state agency for battling any foreign animal diseases, should they reach Iowa.
“The department of ag plays a pretty critical role in movement of animals and permitting,” Mogler says. “It’s important that they have the resources at their disposal to be able to make sure that continuity of business for producers and they have certainty as we respond to an incident like that.”
Mogler says Iowa lawmakers are wrapping up their talks on policy bills after the recent “funnel” deadline.
“Now, they’re turning to appropriations and putting budgets together,” Mogler says. “It’s one of those things that we’re pretty confident that we’ll be able to get some of that money but continue to remind legislators of the importance of proper planning and preparedness in the state.”
Mogler says while neither foot and mouth disease or African swine fever has shown up in the United States, it’s critical officials are vigilant with protection efforts against any possible outbreaks.
(Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)