Proposed money to educate farmers on bird flu

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is asking for funding from the state to help prepare farmers to fight outbreaks like the bird flu.

The outbreak that hit parts of the Midwest in the spring of 2015 caused major devastation to farmers in both Iowa and Minnesota. Now Northey wants to train farmers to increase biosecurity efforts when they are responding to these foreign diseases.

For farmer Chris Petersen, he believes the industry needs to change before educational measures are taken.

“The industry has a massive problem and it’s due to a lot of the confinement issues and the overcrowding of the birds, use of antibiotics and disease,” Petersen said. “So it creates a paragram of things for food security in this country.”

Northey is requesting $500,000, something he also did last year, but it wasn’t included in the state budget last time

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