Educational Activities on Biosecurity and Avian Influenza at the State Fair

The "Biosecure Entry Education Trailer" (BEET) and training was developed by poultry and swine extension faculty and educators and was demonstrated at the Minnesota State Fair on August 31, 2017. The poultry and swine biosecurity team composed of extension faculty (Kevin Janni,Sally Noll, Erin Cortus), extension educators (Abby Neu, Sara Schieck, and Dianne DeWitte) and Extension Livestock Communications Intern (Hannah Lochner) spent the day at the fair visiting and showing  people the BEET and answering questions about biosecurity and avian influenza. The crew also conducted skits on the Christensen Stage to introduce people to the concepts of biosecurity, germs, and line of separation. Special thanks to Abby, Sara, and Dianne for organizing and developing the BEET program and materials for the fair!

The BEET is available for education and training for those in animal agriculture (regardless of size). The objectives of the BEET education are: 1) For managers to develop, assess, and practice biosecurity protocols for their poultry/swine barn(s) and 2) Farmers and employees can practice protocols and technique in a safe location.  This effort is funded through support from Rapid Agricultural Response Funds, Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources, and Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

If you are interested in hosting a BEET education and training session for your operation, please contact either:

Abby Neu, Extension Educator - Poultry, 320-235-0726 x2019,

Sarah Schieck, Extension Educator - Swine, 320-235-0726 x2004,


Photo of the team with visitor Beth Thompson ( Executive Director, Minnesota Board of Animal Health). Names from left to right - Cortus, Janni, Schieck, Thompson, Neu, Lochner. Not shown - Dianne DeWitte and Sally Noll.


 The pilot program "Poultry Health Educator" (funded by the State of Minnesota) was held at the Minnesota State Fair on August 20th during the check-in of poultry for the 4-H contest. The initial steps of this program were to conduct a needs assessment and gather data of exhibitors on poultry health and biosecurity. The team (Extension Educator - Wayne Martin, Extension Poultry Specialist - Sally Noll and UM Animal Science students - Michaela Olson and Mariah Huberty) collected about 200 surveys. The team was also able view the poultry, check-in, and arrangement of the poultry barn. Many thanks to the 4-H parents and youth for completing the survey on an extremely busy day for them.  Thanks as well to the BOAH staff and 4-H check in crew.