Georgia Ag team heads to Mississippi - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia Ag team heads to Mississippi

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September 14, 2005
from the Ga. Dept. of Agriculture

 Atlanta -- A team of agricultural experts from Georgia has left for Mississippi to assist with some of that state’s agricultural issues following Hurricane Katrina, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin announced today.

A Georgia State Agriculture Response Team (SART) has been deployed to Hattiesburg , Mississippi , to help with response and recovery. The team consists of four veterinarians, three livestock/poultry specialists, one animal health technician and four extension specialists from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture, University of Georgia and Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA).

The team will work at the Mississippi Emergency Management Operations Center staging area aiding field personnel with livestock and companion animal-related issues. Mississippi requested the SART through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact agreement with GEMA. The team will assist with the transition from “response” to “recovery” from the hurricane.

“Specifically, our team will assist for one week with conducting damage assessments of agricultural facilities, manage the logistics of incoming supplies and outgoing deployments, and help oversee livestock and poultry carcass disposal,” said Commissioner Irvin.

A New Jersey team is expected to replace the Georgia team the following week.

The Georgia team was spearheaded by the Georgia Agroterrorism Committee out of the Office of Homeland Security. Team members have received Incident Command Systems and Agrosecurity Awareness training.

Many have responded to catastrophic animal emergencies such as the 2001 Foot-and-Mouth Disease outbreak in the United Kingdom and the 2003 Exotic Newcastle Disease outbreak in California. “I am proud that Georgia is providing such a skilled group of people to help our neighbors in Mississippi ,” said Irvin.

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