Youth are the future of our nation’s poultry farming and industry.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Defend the Flock public education campaign is launching #FlockDefender, a new outreach effort specifically aimed at helping youth and student poultry owners learn about and practice good biosecurity.

The #FlockDefender page provides youth, students and their leaders and teachers with many electronic resources they can use during meetings, classes and when caring for their flocks. APHIS is also encouraging these young poultry enthusiasts to share photos of their poultry or biosecurity practices. The free youth toolkit is available 24/7 at www.bit.ly/DefendtheFlock-Youth.

The New Mexico Livestock Board is performing scrapie surveillance testing on sheep between 1.5-5 years of age that meet the genetic profile (black-faced/ mottle-faced meat sheep and their crosses) at NO COST to the producer. Sampling consists of drawing blood and performing a biopsy. New Mexico is a scrapie-free state, but needs to test to maintain its scrapie-free status.

If interested contact the New Mexico Livestock Board at (505) 841-6161 or email Dr. Alexandra Eckhoff at alexandra.eckhoff@state.nm.us.