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Enhancing the EDEN Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Planning (S-CAP) Project
A. L. Husband, R. N. Yeargan, M.C. Newman, R. M. Dwyer
Most communities have robust emergency operations plans to protect their citizens; however, local agricultural issues that can affect human health, safety, and welfare (e.g. zoonotic diseases, public health concerns due to mass carcass disposal, responder safety) and protection of agricultural assets (e.g. workforce, crops, livestock, property) are often not addressed. As a result, there is a need for enhancement of the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Planning (S-CAP) project to assist local agricultural emergency planning.
S-CAP workshop participants will learn, through newly revised workshop presentations and activities, to use capability-based planning and improve networking and build partnerships among community partners who can plan for and respond to emergencies. Local jurisdictions will have an increased capacity to handle agricultural issues during an emergency or disaster. As a result, communities become more self-sustaining by strengthening and increasing their resiliency to disaster and the impact of disasters is reduced through research-based education.
2010 Project Description
Participant manuals and slide sets for the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) Strengthening Community Agrosecurity Planning (S-CAP) workshops were revised and updated and recruitment materials for future host sites were developed. The recruitment materials included a comprehensive host site guidance document with checklist, workshop overview document, marketing materials including a flyer and sample press release, and host site questionnaire.
Four workshops were conducted in a face-to-face format, including two deliveries in Hawaii; one in West Point, NE; and one in Montgomery, AL. Participants received all educational materials at the workshop. Audience included Cooperative Extension Service personnel, emergency management agencies, city/county government officials, first responders (including law enforcement and fire department personnel), state/federal agencies (including Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Conservation Service, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, etc.), veterinarians, volunteer organizations, producers/commodity groups, and allied agriculture representatives (including food processors and feed mills). Participants developed sustainability plans to ensure productive outcomes to develop or enhance their agricultural emergency operations plans.
In addition, workshop activities included development of the pilot phase of the EDEN Train-the-Trainer program to engage personnel in further dissemination of the S-CAP workshops under the guidance of the National Development Team to ensure quality and consistency of delivery. The pilot phase of the Train-the-Trainer program included development of Instructors' manuals, Train-the-Trainer overview document and application form, and consultation with past and future State Trainees. Compact discs were developed and printed so each Trainee can have access to all of the electronic files and educational materials necessary to conduct additional deliveries of the workshops.
The EDEN public Web site and the EDEN Intranet were utilized to disseminate marketing materials developed for individuals who may be considering hosting a future S-CAP workshop, educate the public about the efforts of S-CAP, and facilitate future host sites' planning efforts through EDEN's Microsoft SharePoint system.
90% of participants indicated their expertise about agricultural emergency management/planning was intermediate, above average, or expert after the EDEN S-CAP workshop, compared to 43% of participants that indicated their level of expertise was intermediate, above average, or expert prior to the workshop. 87% of participants indicated they were motivated to collaborate with community leaders to pursue further readiness, response, and/or recovery capabilities. In addition, 97% of participants who participated in the S-CAP workshop indicated the training provided tools needed to continue development of a local agricultural operations plan and/or start a community agrosecurity planning team.
Over 2.2 million inhabitants of the counties represented at the S-CAP workshop will be safeguarded from the negative effects of a potential agricultural disaster due to their local emergency planners' participation in the workshop and sustained efforts of community agrosecurity planning teams to enhance the agricultural component of their local emergency operations plan. In addition, many emergency managers indicate they plan to use the process taught in the S-CAP workshops to not only improve the agricultural portion of their plan, but also to enhance all emergency support functions.
All participants received training materials and developed skill sets to develop/enhance agricultural emergency operations plans to protect local critical infrastructure. Participants used worksheets, guided activities, and team interaction to develop procedures to work with a community agrosecurity planning team upon return to their home jurisdiction.
In two of the workshops, the pilot phase of the Train-the-Trainer program was instituted. Seven trainees from four states were credentialed to conduct additional S-CAP workshops within their states. Utah personnel certified through the pilot Train-the-Trainer program in Alabama have already leveraged funding through their state Office of Homeland Security to conduct several workshops in their state.
State Trainees from Land Grant Universities and State Departments of Agriculture received instructional training materials that included a robust instructor's guide with comprehensive notes and references for additional information, worksheets and supplemental materials to guide participant interaction, suggestions for methods to stimulate team activities, videos to complement slide set presentations, complete slide sets on a compact disc, and facilitation and evaluation forms. In addition, State Trainees worked with the National Instruction Team to build their competence to disseminate EDEN educational materials in their state. The pilot phase of the Train-the-Trainer component of the workshops included guided discussion, assessment of teaching skills, and evaluation of trainees' knowledge base.