Office of Homeland Security
Homeland Security Hosts Agro-terrorism Exercise

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, June 22, 2005  
Contact Information:  Jason Keller

Frankfort, KY: The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security today completed the second of a two-day statewide homeland security exercise focusing on the state's agro-terrorism preparedness. The exercise, which was held at Northern Kentucky University’s Metropolitan Education and Training Services (METS) Center and the University of Kentucky’s Animal Research Center, was attended by more than 150 officials from over 70 local, state and federal agencies.

 “Agro-terrorism preparedness is a large part of our prevention-focused homeland security strategy, and it is essential that our communities, First Responders and families have the resources, training and information they need to be prepared,” said Major Alecia Webb-Edgington, Acting Director of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. “By preparing through practice, these exercises provide a critical training tool to further accomplish that goal.”

 The two-day exercise, which is the only statewide exercise being held in the commonwealth this year, highlighted Kentucky’s state government and higher education partnership to further the state’s homeland security preparedness efforts.

 Dr. Nancy Cox, Associate Dean for Research in the UK College of Agriculture said, “The UK College of Agriculture appreciates the efforts of Kentucky Homeland Security to demonstrate the devastating impact that terrorist acts could potentially have on our food system, and we are honored to provide one of our Experiment Station research farms and staff support for the exercise. We encourage citizen awareness of this issue and are pleased to support educational programs that benefit homeland security.”

 Robert A. Snyder, Ph.D., executive director of the Metropolitan Education and Training Services Center added, “The Northern Kentucky University METS Center for Corporate Learning has proven that it provides an outstanding venue for homeland security/anti-terrorism training and preparedness. We look forward to continuing this great partnership to provide Kentucky’s First Responders, First Receivers and other officials with the resources they need to effectively do their jobs.”

 During the two-day exercise, each participating agency worked to evaluate the plans, policies and procedures each have in place when preparing for and responding to a potential agro-terrorism event. During the course of the exercise, each agency was required to collaborate and coordinate with each other in the most effective manner possible to prevent and respond to the simulated incident. Through this preparedness exercise, these agencies will be better prepared to work together in the event of an agro-terrorism event, and will be better equipped to work collaboratively in the event of any other emergency situation.