Skip to content

Webinar Description

Livestock and poultry producers depend on veterinarians as a primary source of information about disease prevention and control. Being able to rapidly detect and respond to foreign and emerging animal disease threats depends on their awareness and comfort in reporting unusual signs. Veterinarians can use simple strategies to enhance awareness and willingness to respond to foreign animal diseases.

A one-hour webinar was held during October 2021 to discuss simple steps for communicating about foreign animal diseases, and getting answers to questions about diseases of current concern:

  • Rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD)
  • African swine fever (ASF)
  • Foot and mouth disease (FMD)
  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)


Julie Smith DVM, PhD, is a research associate professor at the University of Vermont. Julie received her B.S. in Biological Sciences, DVM and PhD in Animal Nutrition at Cornell University. Since joining the Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences in 2002, she has applied her veterinary background to programs in the areas of herd health, calf and heifer management, and agricultural emergency management. She is responsible for teaching the undergraduate Animal Welfare class required of majors in her department.

Julie has conducted trainings for Extension educators, livestock producers, and community members on the risks posed by a range of animal diseases, whether they already exist in the United States, exist outside of the United States, or pose a risk to both animal and human health. In all cases, she emphasizes the importance of awareness and prevention.

As a veterinarian and spouse of a dairy farmer, Julie is well aware of the animal health and well-being concerns of dairy animals. She is currently leading the Secure Food Supply New England Project.

About the Secure Food Supply New England Project

Funded by the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP)Opens a new window, Secure Food Supply New England is a Vermont-led, New England-wide project will build on previous projects to:

  • Continue Secure Milk Supply planning, and permitting processes that can apply across other food animals also.
  • Engage with public and private veterinarians and producers.
  • Deliver an application to support readiness at the farm level.
  • Conduct a test run of permitting movements, i.e., a tabletop exercise in emergency management terms.

Funding Acknowledgement

This work is supported with Farm Bill funding through the USDA APHIS Veterinary Services (VS) National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP), under cooperative agreement AP21VSSP0000C008. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA or APHIS.

Joanna Cummings received a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from The Pennsylvania State University (PSU), with a specialization in vegetable crop and greenhouse production. At PSU, she was a research technician on no-tillage vegetable crop experiments, and a greenhouse assistant in the All-American Selections Research Gardens. Her career in the agriculture industry includes field research, work with dairy and vegetable farms, and as a greenhouse manager, estate gardener, landscaper and market garden entrepreneur. She transitioned to the science communication field after receiving a master of science degree in environmental communications from Antioch University New England. At Antioch, Joanna was a field botany laboratory teaching assistant, manager of the herbarium, and editor of the department's student newsletter, Notes and Niches.

She currently works with Research Professor and Secure Food Supply New England Director Julie M. Smith as a communications professional in the University of Vermont Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department. She is the webmaster for the Secure Agriculture website.

Back To Top