Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Launches Foreign Animal Disease Training for Iowa Veterinarians

IowaFADefense program is free for all veterinarians licensed in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (May 21, 2020) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is introducing a foreign animal disease program for veterinarians licensed to practice in Iowa. The IowaFADefense program will teach veterinarians how to rapidly detect, respond to and contain foreign animal diseases affecting livestock and poultry. The program will also increase the number of veterinarians who are trained and able to assist the Iowa Department of Agriculture and USDA in responding to a foreign animal disease outbreak.

“If a foreign animal disease breaches U.S. borders, it could be devastating to Iowa’s agriculture-based economy,” said Secretary Naig. “It will take a quick, coordinated response from state, federal and private animal health experts to mitigate the spread of the disease. That’s why we’re hosting a training program for private veterinarians who would be an essential part of a foreign animal disease response if the need arises.”

Veterinarians who participate in the IowaFADefense program will learn how to:

  • diagnose foreign animal diseases,
  • assist the state and federal departments of agriculture with foreign animal disease investigations,
  • teach farm staff how to collect surveillance samples during an outbreak,
  • work with their clients to enhance on-farm biosecurity,
  • improve on-farm record-keeping strategies to quickly facilitate foreign animal disease investigations, and
  • conduct a small scale epidemiologic investigation on a farm.

African Swine Fever, Classical Swine Fever, Foot-and-Mouth Disease, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Virulent Newcastle Disease are included in the IowaFADefense program curriculum.

The program is entirely online and taught through a combination of webinars, interactive activities and modules, and video demonstrations. In-person meetings may be added in the future. Veterinarians who complete the entire program will earn 19 hours of continuing education credits. To participate, veterinarians must register by June 5, 2020, at

The IowaFADefense program is free to Iowa veterinarians and is funded through the state’s foreign animal disease preparedness and response fund. For more information about the IowaFADefense program, call (515) 281-8588 or email


About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 12 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land for the next generation. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Keely Coppess
Communications Director
(515) 326-1616