Jonathan Moyle1, Jennifer Rhodes1, Paul Goeringer1
1University Of Maryland Extension, Salisbury, Maryland, United States
In today’s modern world commercial farmers face a wide range of challenges, from weather to diseases to government regulations. These ever changing, if not properly prevented or addressed in a timely manner can lead to large losses in production. With the increased movement of products and animals in the current world, preventing diseases is becoming a greater challenge. All types of agricultural ventures can have disease problems, whether it is Avian Influenza in birds, African Swine Fever in pigs or even nematodes in bananas, preventing disease is a priority. Biosecurity – any and all measures used to prevent disease – is an important risk management tool that farmers need to use to help reduce the risk of disease. In order to help farmers understand biosecurity and implement good practices, the University of Maryland Extension service conducted a number of outreach programs to train commercial poultry growers in the Delmarva region (DE, MD, VA). These programs included: traditional extension hands-on education, newsletters, factsheets, videos and on farm field days. Prior to educational outreach growers where surveyed on biosecurity practices, this was followed by surveys three to four months after trainings and then again 2 years later. The results found that 87% of growers made changes to their biosecurity plans as a result of workshops and 75% still maintained practices two years later and 92% reporting they still train employees on biosecurity.
Dr. Jonathan “Jon” Moyle is the Extension Poultry Specialist for the University of Maryland and is affiliation with the Department of animal and avian Sciences at the University of Maryland as well. He attended Brigham Young University where he received his B.S. in Animal Science. Then worked for 15 years, during which time he owned and operated a broiler breeder farm, before returning to the University of Arkansas were he got his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. After completion of his Ph.D. he served a Post-doc position with the USDA-ARS, in Fayetteville AR. In graduate school he worked on reproductive management and behavior in broiler breeders. Later his research involved improving organic and free range poultry production, along with looking for natural compounds that can be used to help growers prevent and control disease. Currently as the University of Maryland Extension Poultry specialist, he is looking at ways to help growers improve nutrient management (including alternative litter uses), increase profitability (alternative bedding and lighting), protect the environment and improve biosecurity.