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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Principle 2 - Training

*Please note any templates or resources that can help you, can be found in a Google Drive folder, available to everyone. Bookmark the site: for easy access. If a resource is referenced in a post, it is linked directly to the Google Drive.

Training is an essential component to an effective biosecurity plan. Developing and carrying out biosecurity training helps you protect your flocks from disease exposure from employees and visitors, but also vehicles and equipment. Understanding disease risks will help increase the probability of compliance by employees and visitors

Larger farms may have a person designated to complete this training for new employees. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the Biosecurity Coordinator to ensure this is done in order to maintain compliance with NPIP Biosecurity Principles.

Individuals that frequently enter the Perimeter Buffer Area, need to receive documented training once a year, at minimum. New employees are to be trained at hire with respective training documentation. You can document training in a variety of approaches including completion sheets, training logs, training completion certificates, or other equivalent record. All training records need to be retained for a minimum of 3 years. You can learn more about requirements for retaining records in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 9- CFR §145.12(b) (pg 894) and 146.11(e) (pg 950).

Your training materials should be easily accessible and cover site-specific as well as company or complex-wide specific procedures as necessary. These materials should indicate standard operating procedures for any individuals, vehicles, or equipment entering the Perimeter Buffer Area or Line of Separation.

Consider the protocol for individuals entering the Perimeter Buffer Area and crossing the Line of Separation.
  • Do they arrive showered with clean clothes and disinfected shoes? 
  • Do they need to wear barn or site-specific clothing that do not leave the premises? 
  • What is your protocol for on-site vehicles? And non-farm vehicles?
  • What disinfectant measures do you require for vehicles entering the Perimeter Buffer Area? 
  • Where do you require employees to park outside the Perimeter Buffer Area? 
Each SOP on your farm should be readily available and efficiently communicated to your employees, service or utility providers, transporters, and visitors.


Training record - Individual - PDF template to use for record keeping

Training record - topic or subject - PDF template to use for record keeping

2-zone Danish Entry video

3-zone Danish Entry video

Characteristics of Disinfectants - a color-coded chart that explains advantages and disadvantages, and how they work best

Flow analysis fact sheet - an explanation of Line of Separation (LOS) and Perimeter Buffer Area (PBA) and how to go about determining what they should be on your farm

Friday, October 6, 2017

Week 1 - Biosecurity Responsibility

*Please note any templates or resources that can help you, can be found in a Google Drive folder, available to everyone. Bookmark the site: for easy access. If a resource is referenced in a post, it is linked directly to the Google Drive.

When having a biosecurity plan for your farm, declare one specific person to lead the process. On a day-to-day basis, this person is responsible for the development, implementation, maintenance and ongoing effectiveness of the biosecurity plan and program. Who is your biosecurity coordinator? For the NPIP Audit, you will be required to list this person’s name. Who is your biosecurity coordinator?

The biosecurity coordinator can be on the farm, or company level depending on the size of the operation. Regardless of where this person originates from, they should be knowledgeable in the principles of biosecurity – the basics and what may be specific for your production system. They do not need specific certification to have this title, but will need to be able to describe and interpret the company’s biosecurity program.

The next step of biosecurity responsibility to have a written biosecurity plan. Many have this plan “in their head”. For numerous reasons, this plan needs to be put in paper and its location needs to be told to others.

Currently, there is no required format for how you write you plan. Some farms may have a 20 page plan with numerous additional pages of supporting documents. Your plan may be simple and fit on 4 pages. The content of your biosecurity plan should include thorough answers to the NPIP Audit Guidelines. This would include any S.O.P’s you have in place.

Begin your plan with general information about your farm.
  1. Operator name
  2. Farm name
  3. Physical address of the farm
  4. Mailing address of the farm (if different than physical address)
  5. Phone number(s)
  6. Biosecurity coordinator’s name and (work) contact information
While preparing a written biosecurity plan, the Biosecurity Coordinator may find some gaps in training or procedures. Now is the time to develop those processes and implement them. Each calendar year the biosecurity plan will need to be reviewed and revisions, if any are necessary, should be made at that time. Record of the review and any revisions need to be documented and provided for your audit.

A period of “heightened risk” can be an intense time for all producers and their employees. It is the responsibility of the biosecurity coordinator that “period of heightened risk” is clearly defined in the biosecurity plan. It is imperative to explain in the original plan how a review of the plan will occur in times of heightened risk. Documenting any communications (emails, letters, memos, phone logs, text messages, etc.) will be the duty of the coordinator as well.

If you have any questions or need other resources, please reach out to me by phone (320) 235 - 0726 x 2019 or by e-mail  I'm happy to help you through this process.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Introduction Week 1 - How to Prepare for Your NPIP Biosecurity Audit

By Abby Neu

Extension Educator, Poultry

First, know I’m here to help! For each of the next 13 weeks, I will breakdown one of the Biosecurity Principles to explain, offer discussion and provide resources that can help you complete that portion of the audit. Here is this week's video!

If you want to learn more about the actual audit process in Minnesota, please view this video.  This is a recording of a session presented at the MTGA | CEAM Producer Lunch & Learn in September 2017.  The video is 56 minutes long.

Please download and familiarize yourself with the documents linked below. I will be summarizing and referring to them throughout this series. At minimum, read them once, they will be helpful as your prepare your plan and gather audit documentation.

NPIP Program Standard E – Biosecurity Principles: The best place to start!

Biosecurity Principles Audit Guidelines: This document asks questions and digs deeper into specifics.

Biosecurity Principles Audit Form: This is the standardized form being used to assess your biosecurity plan and documentation.

NPIP Biosecurity Principles Template from U.S. Poultry & Egg Association: This is a request form to have a 1-time download of this PDF template. It’s worth the few minutes to make this request. Once permission has been given to you , make sure to save the download on your computer.

Here are other essentials you need to know:
  • Drs. Dale Lauer and Shauna Voss from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MN BAH) will be conducting these audits.  Other MN BAH Field Staff may be called upon to assist in the audit process.
  • These audits will ONLY be paper audits.  You will NOT have a farm/site visit by MN BAH staff.
  • You will be notified of your audit and given 30 days to submit your biosecurity plan and supporting documentation.  You may submit paperwork electronically, in person at the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory (MPTL) in Willmar, MN, or by U.S. Mail, FedEx, Speedy or other delivery service.
  • Each state is completing the NPIP audits differently, depending on the Official State Agency in charge.  Your friends elsewhere in the country will likely have a different process than you.
If you have any questions or need other resources, please reach out to me by phone (320) 235 - 0726 x 2019 or by e-mail  I'm happy to help you through this process. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Students Design a Biosecure Entry

by Kevin Janni, Extension Engineer

Engineering students are required to complete a comprehensive open-ended design project through a capstone course. This spring, three Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering students at the University of Minnesota took on the challenge to design a biosecure entry for a turkey grower four-barn site. They were to develop and evaluate multiple designs, then select one and conduct technical, safety and economic analyses, develop design specifications that meet given or assumed constraints, and consider ethical and social issues related to the design. This is a summary of their presented design.

After evaluating multiple options and practical decisions, UMN engineering students chose to build a three-zone Danish Entry and biosecure hallway for their capstone design project.

The farmstead has four barns 60 ft wide, 512 ft long with 7 ft tall sidewalls. Each barn houses 11,000 toms. Toms are placed at about 6 or 7 weeks of age weighing 6.5 -8.8 lbs. They leave the barns at about 22 weeks of age weighing about 55 lbs each. The barn ventilating rate ranged from 15,000 to 175,000 cubic feet per minute depending on bird age and weather conditions. The team was to assume a 10% flock mortality rate. The biosecure entry was expected to have hot water for washing hands on entry and exit for up to four people at a time.

Design criteria
The team was to design a biosecure entry for changing coveralls and boots and washing hands and boots. The team decided to recommend a single biosecure three-zone Danish entry with a hallway connecting the four barns. This choice required them to design a filtered ventilating system for the biosecure entry. The entry also needed to include a system to provide hot water, and manage wastewater from hand and boot washing.

Considerations and Decisions
The team considered two-zone and three-zone Danish entry systems for each barn and one entry with a hallway connecting the four barns. They selected the hallway option with a three-zone entry. Based on cost information, the students chose a Quonset shaped building with vertical sidewalls for the new entry and hallway. The hallway had fire breaks between each barn and emergency exits. When evaluating water heaters they selected an electric tank-less product. They selected a septic tank wastewater treatment system with a bark bed drain field. The biosecure entry used a MERV 8 pre-filter and a MERV 16 HEPA filter in the ventilating system. They did not implement a double-door system that would have flushed the three-zone entry with filtered air each time the exterior door was opened to reduce the chances of bringing in airborne disease carrying particles. They used LED lighting throughout to provide 20 foot-candles in the hallway and 50 foot-candles in the three-zone entry. They selected foot operated sink and automatic soap dispensers to reduce hand contact with surfaces after putting on barn clothing.

An interesting thing about the project was the long list of incidental details that the team identified and considered before they made recommendations. It is a reminder that the devil is in the details. The biosecure entry project was a good challenge that presented the students with lots of opportunities to be creative and co
nsider numerous options.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Pigeon Loft Biosecurity

The Extension Poultry Team recently released a video on its YouTube channel about pigeon loft biosecurity.  Dr. Phil Nelson, DVM
is the featured guest to discuss biosecurity for pigeon lofts.  Nelson states, "Biosecurity is a set of measures taken everyday in the management of your bird to reduce and minimize the risk of disease transmission. You may already do many of these things in your loft; however it is important to remain conscious of disease risk and use common sense to further enhance your biosecurity practices."  Nelson explains simple, inexpensive practices which are commonly practiced and how an individual might improve upon them.  

The Extension Poultry Team also has a fact sheet available regarding the same topic.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Extension offers poultry education in multiple languages

By Hannah Lochner, 
Communications Intern, UMN Extension - Livestock

Minnesota’s strong poultry industry and abundance of wildlife fuels interest in health and well-being of all birds in the state. University of Minnesota Extension recognizes this and strives to provide educational resources for commercial and backyard producers, but also youth, niche producers, and others involved or interested in the industry. These educational resources focus on improving management, developing new products, and creating new markets. Learning and applying the concepts highlighted in these resources can lead to improved bird health and ultimately contribute to the overall health of Minnesota birds.

Recently, several fact sheets have been translated from English to Hmong, Spanish and Somali. The fact sheets provide information on disease prevention and management in various flocks including chickens and pigeons and can be found on the University of Minnesota Extension - Poultry website.

"Avian Influenza: Basics for urban and backyard poultry owners" discusses a brief overview of avian influenza including clinical signs and safety concerns. It also walks through practical biosecurity steps owners can take to prevent the spread of disease which include sanitizing, recognizing indirect sources, and reducing possible direct sources.

Avian Influenza: Basics for organic and pastured poultry flock producers” discusses a brief overview of avian influenza including clinical signs and safety concerns. It also lists biosecurity measures for organic flocks, which include reducing the risk of disease carried by waterfowl and having a shelter present in the event of a nearby outbreak.

Avian Influenza: Avian influenza basics for pigeon owners”  discusses a brief overview of avian influenza including clinical signs and safety concerns. Practical biosecurity measures as described by the United States Department of Agriculture are also listed respectively.

Avian Influenza: Biosecurity for pigeon lofts” outlines and describes the foundation of biosecurity in pigeons lofts such as isolation, traffic control, and sanitation. The factsheet also describes biosecurity measures needed to be addressed for racing birds that enter and leave the loft regularly.

Avian Influenza: Pigeon and influenza viruses” discusses susceptibility of pigeons to influenza through various case studies and the infection’s ability to adapt to pigeons.

University of Minnesota Extension encourages you to share any of these fact sheets with employee, friend and neighbors!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Biosecurity Education at FarmFest!

 For the past 35 years the Minnesota Farmfest show has brought together area farmers and top agribusinesses for 3 days of networking, policy discussion, and special events. Visit Farmfest to see the best and newest products on the market and learn new ways to advance your business. With more than 470 exhibitors, you will have plenty to see and learn about, and of course good food to keep your belly full.

2017 Farmfest will take place Tuesday, August 1 - Thursday, August 3.  Show hours are 8:00 am - 5:00 PM on Tuesday, and 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Wednesday and Thursday.

This year, you can visit with University of Minnesota Extension Educators and Professors about biosecurity in your production facilities. Tour the Biosecure Entry Education Trailer (BEET), ask questions, have a discussion and set-up a training workshop for your employees while exploring the U of M tent located on "6th Avenue", just north of the Wick Buildings Farmfest Center (stage).

Extension Educator, Abby Neu, demonstrates how bacteria and virus can be spread by people when entering and exiting animal barns.  

Visit here for ticket information and travel directions to the Gilfillan Estate new Redwood Falls,

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