Monday, February 22, 2010

Officials wary of agricultural terrorism

U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson drew attention to a new focus in the war on terror that hits home for South Dakotans during his keynote address this month at the South Dakota Farmers Union 95th annual state convention in Huron. In the past decade, safeguarding food and agriculture from both foreign and domestic terrorism has become a point of emphasis for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has dealt with food safety since its establishment in 1862."Agriculture is the lifeblood of South Dakota. One attack could shut down the economy of this entire state, so we need to be vigilant about this," he said in his speech.

Johnson said public awareness is a critical component of preventing agri-terrorism, which is why he chose it as his speech topic. "These are the folks who see the suspicious signs first. We need to make sure farmers and ranchers are our first responders and understand and are aware of this potential threat."Farmers and ranchers have been aware of the potential for foreign terrorists or domestic ones, such as animal rights activists, to disrupt South Dakota agriculture, said Doug Sombke, SDFU president. The new anti-terrorism safety net rests atop a firm foundation of longstanding agricultural safeguards, he pointed out.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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