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Agricultural, food safety preparedness training offered in Roswell, Hobbs

LAS CRUCES - Keeping our food safe is an ongoing effort for the food and agriculture profession. In a continued effort to prepare for emergency situations affecting agriculture, county emergency managers Teresa Barncastle in Roswell and Lorenzo Velasquez in Hobbs are hosting a two-day Preparedness and Response to Food and Agriculture Incidents classes in their cities.


The training will be Wednesday and Thursday, May 6-7, in Roswell at the New Mexico Military Institute's Daniels Leadership Center, 101 W. College Blvd., and Saturday and Sunday, May 9-10, at Lea Event Center, 5101 Lovington Hwy. in Hobbs. The classes will begin at 8 a.m. each day and run until 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center (SWBFSDC), housed at NMSU's College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, is sponsoring the training that will be conducted by the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, Academy of Counter Terrorism Education at Louisiana State University.

"This awareness class will focus on how to prepare for, respond to and recover from food and agricultural emergencies," said Billy Dictson, co-director of SWBFSDC office of biosecurity. "This will be the first time this class has been taught in New Mexico."

The training will prepare community planners, as well as those in the food production chain, who would be among the first to note a problem in the nation's food supply with information to respond to an act of agricultural terrorism. Besides agricultural producers, participants will be key members of community planning teams, supervisors dealing with food production, transportation, delivery and final distribution, and emergency planners from state and local governments.

For more information, contact Velasquez at (575) 396-8602 about the Hobbs training, Barncastle at (575) 624-6770 about the Roswell class or Dictson at bdictson@nmsu.edu or (575) 644-7403.