Safety and security took on new meaning for Americans after Sept. 11, 2001. Suddenly, terms such as bioterrorism and agro-terrorism became part of the nation’s vocabulary as people began to wonder about all kinds of threats to our national security. The dairy industry responded quickly and proactively, implementing a wide range of measures to secure the milk supply. The industry works hand-in-hand with government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and others to safeguard the nation’s milk supply.
Steps Taken - No farm can be a fortress, as farms encompass hundreds and thousands of acres that account for much of the wide open space across the United States. Farmers take many different measures to protect their herds and their land to help ensure the continued well-being of their businesses, their own families and the general public. Dairy organizations are helping farmers and co-ops by providing biosecurity and general security guidance, educational materials, training, websites and steps for reporting herd health issues and incidents.
Secured Milk Hauling Tankers - Farmers keep close tabs on the traffic coming onto their farms and train their employees to do the same. They monitor the milk tank room constantly and keep meticulous records on their animals and facilities. The trucks that pick up the milk from these tanks are sealed once they are filled. If the seal is found to have been tampered with during transportation, the milk never will reach the grocery store.
Safe Milk Supply - Dairy is one of the most regulated foods in America, and milk is tested several times during processing to make sure that it meets government safety standards. As is the case with many Americans, dairy farmers stay on alert for any unusual activity these days. Farms have more alarms, lights and locks, and there is a general attitude of working harder to keep the milk supply as safe as it has always been.