1. Scenario-based Agricultural Risk Assessment

February 11, 2019
8:00 am  -  5:00 pm

John Balog, BS, RBP, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD
Susan Harper, DVM, DACLAM, DACVPM, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD
David White, DVM, PhD, RBP, DACVM, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ames, IA
Bruce Whitney, PhD, Texas A&M University System, College Station, TX

The instructors will review general concepts and considerations for assessing risks encountered in research programs that involve animals, plants, pathogens, pests, facilities, equipment, and work practices relevant to agriculture. The focus of the course will be on hazard identification and risk assessment (qualitative and quantitative), with discussion on how the strategic use of management practices can be used to minimize risks. Interactive exercises, specifically designed to incorporate unique challenges and hazards routinely encountered in agricultural research programs, will be used to guide attendees through the risk assessment process and illustrate key factors that influence selection of biocontainment and biosecurity measures to protect workers, the environment, and public health. The use of real-world case studies will provide opportunities for discussion and exchange of ideas that reinforce practical application of knowledge, information, and concepts covered through formal presentations, and an attendee’s actual experience in identifying and assessing research-related risks. Scenarios will be provided for discussion and assessment that focus on the critical aspects of agricultural risk assessment that differ from other described processes: the potential economic impact on local or regional animal and plant morbidity and mortality; and the international trade implications of disease presence in the country.


  • Construct risk assessments for working with agricultural agents and/or animals at various levels of biocontainment, including foreign animal (i.e., transboundary) diseases, in limited resource areas, and contrast with considerations for resource-rich areas
  • Develop practices and procedures appropriate for mitigating the risk of working with agriculturally-important agents and/or animals infected with various pathogens
  • Assess a facility’s ability to contain the agriculturally important agents or animals infected with various pathogens (ABSL1-4, BSL-3Ag, BL1-4P)

Suggested Background: Fundamentals of Biosafety, Risk Assessment, Biosafety Level 3-Design and Operations, Principles & Practices of Biosafety

Target Audience: Biosafety Professionals, Animal Caretakers, All Safety Professionals

Audience Level: All levels

Session Category :  2019  Monday  Professional Development Courses