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The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers. Visit your local county extension office.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

September is National Preparedness Month - Are you Ready Ag?

Fire, flood, feed contamination, foot-and-mouth disease. Farm and ranch disasters can come without warning. Is your crop, livestock or poultry operation secure? Is it biosecure?

A team of Extension professionals from across the US came together to develop an educational tool to assist farm and ranch managers become better prepared for any disaster The tool is called ReadyAG—Disaster and Defense Preparedness for Production Agriculture.

Before disaster strikes, ReadyAG can help farmers and ranchers plan and prepare to prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from all types of damaging incidents. ReadyAG is designed to help identify vulnerabilities and prioritize actions to make agricultural operations more resilient and sustainable in the face of adversity.

ReadyAG begins with a general preparedness assessment then has commodity-specific sections including cattle, crops, dairy, fruit and vegetable, swine, and poultry. The assessments can be filled out online and will automatically populate a customized action plan to address items identified as vulnerabilities with a high priority to mitigate.

Farmers and ranchers who access the ReadyAG workbook will be encouraged to take the following steps:
  • Identify vulnerable areas of production and management
  • Prioritize areas to strengthen
  • Create an action plan specific for an operation
  • Develop an accurate inventory of assets
  • Identify and engage local critical services
  • Find additional helpful resources
The ReadyAG workbook can be found at

The project was funded by a USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (now the National Institute of Food and Agriculture) Special Needs project. Extension faculty and staff from Cornell University, Oklahoma State University, Rutgers—the State University of New Jersey, The Pennsylvania State University, The University of Vermont, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of Maryland contributed to the development of the ReadyAG assessment.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. More information is available at:

Rick VanVranken