Livestock producers may participate in an online exercise Sept. 8-11 to prepare for a potential outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

Hosted by the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, the USDA-sponsored exercise will bring a broad spectrum of livestock industry stakeholders together to work in collaboration to improve capability to respond to an outbreak of FMD affecting U.S. livestock.

The course will be free of charge due to support from USDA. Participants will meet virtually two to three hours Tuesday through Thursday (Sept. 8-10) and one to two hours Friday (Sept. 11) to share information and brainstorm about response strategies for an outbreak of FMD in a realistic scenario.

Veterinarians who attend the entire event will be able to earn continuing education credits. Participants will receive continuing education verification at the end of the event.

Participants must preregister online by Sept. 1 as space is limited. Questions may be emailed to ope@vetmed.illinois.edu or call 217-333-2907.

Illinois Farm Bureau worked closely with Drs. Yvette Johnson-Walker and Gay Miller at the U of I College of Veterinary Medicine to develop the exercise. The exercise will be a platform to provide education about FMD and assess some aspects of preparedness capabilities. It will also identify areas for improvement across the range of livestock production systems in the region.