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Agricultural Biosecurity

One of our nation's premier concerns since September 11, 2001 is biosecurity. NIFA and its land-grant university partners play a major role in helping to monitor and prevent disease outbreaks. 

NIFA is also working with its partner institutions to focus on disease transmission and detection, plant and animal disease diagnosis, the extension of disease information to producers, information outreach to the public, and the creation of new tools and management strategies.

NIFA's Agricultural Biosecurity programs protect the integrity, reliability, sustainability, and profitability of the U.S. food and agricultural system against threats from pests, diseases, contaminants, and disasters. It is necessary to mitigate the threats posed by these foreign and emerging constraints to our nation’s economy and food supply. NIFA is committed to supporting programs that provide readily available, science-based tactics to help prevent, prepare for, detect, respond to, and recover from known and emerging threats. NIFA’s Agricultural Biosecurity priorities are focused in three areas, detailed in the table below:

NIFA's Agricultural Biosecurity Focus Areas

Detection and DiagnosticsNational Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN)

National Animal Health Laboratory (NAHLN)
Surveillance and early detection of high consequence pests and diseases;
timely deployment of technologies and human resources to respond,
manage and recover from outbreaks.
Regulatory Systems SupportMinor Crop Pest Management (IR4)

Food Animal Residue Analysis Database (FARAD)

Minor Use Animal Drugs Program (MUADP)
Critical research to inform federal regulations ensuring the safety
and diversity of agricultural products
Deployment of new crop and
animal production and protection
technologies and management systems
Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM)

Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN)
Research on effective tools to manage pests and diseases
and science-based outreach to help producers respond to
local and regional threats

Goal of NIFA's Agricultural Biosecurity Programs

The overall goal of NIFA’s agricultural biosecurity programs is to create a coordinated national framework of translational and applied science to protect U.S. plant, animal, and food production systems. This framework will significantly strengthen and expand current investments to close existing gaps in food and agricultural defenses through increased capacity to detect pests and diseases, prevent outbreaks, respond to natural disasters, and support containment and recovery operations. Achievement of these objectives will protect the biosecurity of our nation’s food systems, promote U.S. agricultural sustainability and minimize serious disruptions to business and trade. It will also enhance protections for producers, consumers, the food and agricultural system, and the national economy as a whole. NIFA posted a blog post describing different agricultural biosecurity issues, their affects on various agricultural and food industries, and some ways NIFA is contributing to agricultural biosecurity.


Farm bill priority areas
Plant health, production, and products
Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health

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