Two-day workshop prepares producers, emergency responders for ag emergencies

Emergency response and planning for agricultural emergencies are part of a two-day training workshop in Casper for producers and government entities.

The “Wyoming Ag Responder Academy” is Friday-Saturday, Sept. 8-9, at the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds in Casper, said Scott Cotton, University of Wyoming Extension educator and a presenter during the course.

The sessions are sponsored by UW Extension, Colorado State University Extension and Montana State University Extension addressing specific needs of western states that have fewer resources, deal with greater distances and more community dependence on agriculture, said Cotton.

Agribusinesses, producers and emergency management entities will review risks, assess capabilities and then build teams to enhance response abilities, he said.

Scott Cotton

Go to bit.ly/WYAgDisasterTraining for more information and to register. UW Extension educator Caleb Carter and Dr. Jeanne Rankin, DVM, of Montana State University are also presenting.

Emergency response time to agricultural emergencies can be less than 45 minutes if there is planning compared to days without any preparation, Cotton said.

“Whether it is blizzards, floods, wildfires or something else, western agriculture producers cannot afford not to have a system that can support them,” he said. “If the past has taught anything, it is that agriculture is too important to western communities to leave it unprepared for disasters.”

Participants will learn basic disaster response guidelines, animal handling techniques, use of emergency livestock equipment, radio protocols, livestock evacuation, livestock sheltering, and damage appraisal guidelines used by the USDA and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

For more information, contact Cotton at 307-235-9400 or scotton1@uwyo.edu.