The food and agriculture sector is a complex and highly integrated global system of systems. Natural disasters to intentional contamination for economic, criminal and terrorists all pose threats to the food system. Traditionally the identification of an adverse food contamination event comes from clinical and public health data collected and reported only after individuals have consumed the product and become sick. Similarly, the contaminated food item and its distribution are often identified after the event itself. The recent threats from Mother Nature, weapons of mass destruction, and the continual identification of economically motivated adulteration has as motivation to create and implement innovative technologies for stakeholders in the food system (public and private). This session will an overview of the emerging threats and tools to identify threats, assess risks, and mitigate adverse consequences. The work demonstrated is applicable and readily transferrable to other critical infrastructure.
- Transitioning tools to identify threats, assess risk, and mitigate consequences.
- Define emerging threats to food and agriculture critical infrastructure.
- Demonstrating innovative technologies to protect our critical infrastructure.
About Amy Kircher
Amy Kircher is the Director of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence and an Assistant Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. She leads a talented staff and coordinates a research consortium of experts dedicated to protecting the food system through research and education. Her current research includes identification and warning of food disruptions through data fusion and analysis. Prior to coming to the University of Minnesota, Dr. Kircher held epidemiologist positions at NORAD – US Northern Command and with the United States Air Force where she worked on health informatics, biosurveillance, and data analytics. She has an extensive background in Homeland Security and Defense, supporting preparedness and response for real-world and exercise events to include Hurricane Katrina and H1N1. Dr. Kircher completed her Doctorate in Public Health at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.