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USDA invests in livestock health

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

On May 17, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced it will award more than $22.2 million to enhance prevention, preparedness, early detection and rapid response to high-profile diseases threatening the nation’s livestock. 

The funding will be awarded through the 2018 Farm Bill’s National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP) and the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) to fund 81 new projects across 48 states.  

“Bolstering animal disease preparedness is crucial because these diseases devastate livestock and hardworking farmers whose animals are affected and threaten America’s access to safe, healthy and affordable food,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, under secretary for USDA Marking and Regulatory Programs. “APHIS plays an important leadership role in protecting against current and future threats to U.S. animal health, and these investments are key to supporting this work.”


In an effort to help individual states create effective plans to quickly control disease outbreaks, APHIS will award a majority of its investment to 74 projects through the NADPRP. 

This $16.2 million award will be used to train responders, increase biosecurity measures and educate producers, among other things. 

The Wyoming Livestock Board was among the 74 recipients in the program, receiving $156,795 to help implement an electronic identification traceability system at one of the state’s livestock markets. 

Several other projects across the West received funding through the program, including one in Montana, Nebraska and Utah; two in New Mexico and Oklahoma and four in Colorado and Texas. 

This includes $88,567 to the Montana Department of Livestock, $26,165 to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and $73,768 to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food for projects to develop and enhance emergency response plans. 

New Mexico State University received $227,569 for a project to support animal disease movement decisions in the case of an outbreak and $247,319 for animal disease preparedness and response training for law enforcement officers and emergency stakeholders.

Oklahoma State University received $238,098 to help improve local containment for swine in the case of a disease outbreak, as well as $218,731 for a project to advance the development of sheep and goat vaccines. 

Colorado State University was awarded $267,638 for a project supporting livestock and poultry biosecurity measures; $591,927 for a project supporting outreach and education; $500,002 to develop a national-level equine operation and population dataset to inform decision-making in the case of an outbreak and $95,251 for agriculture incident safety officer training and curriculum development.

Texas A&M University received $199,948 to secure milk supply and biosecurity program evaluation and implementation; $171,189 to enhance mass disposal of poultry mortalities and poultry products; $146,578 for livestock agribusiness training development and $182,665 for a tri-state feedlot readiness assessment for foot and mouth disease (FMD) prevention and response. 

Additionally, on the national level, a $111,110 award was given to the American Sheep Industry Association and American Wool Trust; a $78,750 award to the National Institute for Animal Agriculture; a $257,552 award to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and two awards totaling $859,272 to the National Milk Producers Federation. 


APHIS will also award over $1 million to seven NAHLN-funded projects, as well as an additional $5 million to NAHLN laboratories for infrastructure needs. 

Overall, these projects will focus on enhancing early-detection of animal diseases and improving emergency response capabilities across NAHLN laboratories. 

Only two NAHLN-funded awards will benefit entities close to home, including $170,950 to the state of Montana in order to develop a cellphone application and enhance an exisiting website to allow standardized data capture and submission to any NAHLN lab, as well as $200,000 to the state of Texas to build and refine previous work on time-to-detection and cost deficiencies of aquatic viruses.


In addition, the agency has announced several investments in the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB), which allows APHIS to stockpile animal vaccine to use in the event of an outbreak.

In July 2023, APHIS announced it would invest $6 million in NAVVCB purchases during 2024, including FMD vaccine and diagnostic test kits. APHIS also announced it will use $900,000 in farm bill funds to replenish its inventory of classical swine fever vaccine. 

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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