The FBI has recognized the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture for its help in the agency’s efforts to fight agroterrorism over the last nine years.
Special Agent C. Daniel Sturgill, Fort Smith, Arkansas-based weapons of mass destruction coordinator for the FBI, presented a plaque Feb. 12 to a trio of Division of Agriculture faculty and administrators in a low-key ceremony at the state office of the Cooperative Extension Service in Little Rock.
Receiving the plaque were Dustan Clark, associate director of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science and extension veterinarian for the Division of Agriculture; Rick Cartwright, associate vice president-agriculture-extension; and Vic Ford, interim associate director-extension-agriculture and natural resources.
“Agroterrorism is our No. 1 priority when it comes to biological threats in our state,” Sturgill said. “We have to safeguard our state, our poultry industry, our agricultural industry in our state to ensure our economy does well.
“When it comes to biologicals, we are worried about avian influenza,” he said. “One of the most important things in dealing with agroterrorisim is outreach and getting involved with the poultry industry.” Sturgill said that’s where Clark came in with his knowledge of avian influenza and biosecurity, as well as his contacts with fellow veterinarians and his willingness to provide facilities for FBI programs.
Sturgill also praised John Marcy, extension poultry processing specialist and Heidi Ward, extension veterinarian based in Little Rock, for their partnership in the FBI’s anti-terrorism efforts.
“We are privileged to be able to help in these efforts to keep our people and our food supply safe,” said Cartwright. “And we welcome the opportunity to continue the partnership through use of our experts and facilities.”