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History of Agricultural Biosecurity at NIFA

This page is for historical reference only. Listed are specific events that supported or influenced NIFA's Agricultural Biosecurity programs.

Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative

The Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative (FADI) was initially established in 2002 with a one-time, no-year appropriation of funds and was aligned with Homeland Security Presidential Directive-9 (HSPD-9) after its release by President Bush in 2004. The purpose of HSPD-9 is to establish infrastructure to address homeland security issues, protect the security of our agricultural enterprises and the safety, security, and rapid recovery of the American public in the face of disaster. NIFA supported and continues to support the HSPD-9 effort with three national networks: the National Plant Diagnostic (NPDN), the National Animal Health Laboratory Networks (NAHLN), and the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN). On June 13th, 2012, the "Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative: A Meeting of Networks" meeting was held to collaborate on ideas and to express the purpose and goals behind these networks.

2008 Farm Bill

The 2008 farm bill created an Office of Homeland Security within USDA to coordinate the department’s agroterrorism and agricultural disease efforts and to be a liaison with other federal agencies. It also creates an agricultural biosecurity communications center, and a competitive grant program for agricultural biosecurity and countermeasures development. Upon its creation in 2010, NIFA assumed the role of administering the agricultural biosecurity communications centers and the competitive grant programs for agricultural biosecurity.

Tactical Science Call to Conversation

On February 15th and 16th, 2017, the University of Maryland and NIFA hosted the second meeting in the series of Calls to Conversation on the topic of Tactical Sciences. Tactical Sciences refer to a complementary set of programs that offer the tools to protect the integrity, reliability, sustainability, and profits of the U.S. food and agriculture system against threats from pests, diseases, contaminants, and disasters. Over 70 interested stakeholders representing academia, federal and state government, commodity groups, and other non-governmental organizations. Participants considered several issues, including:

  1. What economic, political, social, technological, and scientific trends/forces will impact security of the American food system enterprise in the next 10 years?
  2. What efforts are currently working related to the Tactical Sciences, and where are opportunities for improvement?
  3. What should a successful approach and strategy for the Tactical Sciences look like moving forward?


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

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