WASHINGTON, July 12, 2006 - The U.S.
Department of Agriculture today released a guide
entitled "Pre-Harvest Security Guidelines and
Checklist 2006" to help agricultural producers
enhance security at the farm level. These
practical measures help to protect against
natural disasters, as well as the unintentional
or intentional introduction of plant or animal
"We work on many fronts to ensure that our
nation continues to provide the safest food
supply in the world," said Agriculture Deputy
Secretary Chuck Conner. "While there is no
one-size-fits-all approach to protecting
agriculture, recommendations in this guide can
be beneficial to a variety of types and sizes of
Food and agriculture biosecurity is an
important component of USDA's mission. Improving
awareness through enhanced outreach and
communications is a key element of USDA's
homeland security efforts. The voluntary
guidelines and checklists were developed based
upon recommendations made by producers
throughout the United States. Guidelines have
been developed for general agriculture; dairy;
crops; cattle and poultry security.
This guide is the latest in a series of
materials produced by USDA to bolster food and
agriculture security. USDA continues to work
closely with its federal, state and local
government partners as well as industry
stakeholders to develop sector-wide guidelines.
For instance, guidance has been issued by USDA
for food processors and distributors, and for
agricultural transporters in coordination with
the trucking industry.
Agriculture and food account for 13 percent
of the U.S. gross domestic product, 18 percent
of its employment and $140 billion in revenue.
USDA continues to work with its federal, state,
local partners as well as industry in protecting
the nation's agriculture and food production,
from threats such as natural disasters and
either the naturally occurring, intentional or
unintentional introduction of diseases and
pathogens as they do not respect geographic
borders. The interconnected global food system
contributes to our nation's economic strength by
improving production and marketing efficiency
and providing timely responses to consumer
USDA's local Farm Service Agency Service
Centers are distributing the "Pre-Harvest
Security Guidelines and Checklist 2006" to
agricultural producers throughout the country.
For more information about USDA's homeland
security efforts, go to www.usda.gov/homelandsecurity.