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"One Health" Meeting Covers Zoonotic Disease Prevention on Farm Visits and Public Animal Exhibits

Man next to screen speaks to crowd in classroom setting
Doug Ode, Royalwood Dairy, speaks during the South Dakota "One Health" seminar about their farm's open houses that welcome visitors to tour animal barns and the milking parlor.

Zoonotic disease experts and food animal producers who welcome the public to view their animals learned from each other at the most recent "South Dakota One Health" seminar, held June 21 at the USD Health Science Center in Sioux Falls.  Public animal exhibits provide excellent learning opportunities for children and others to learn about animal agriculture, but also have been associated with severe illnesses such as E. coli O157:H7 and cryptosporidiosis that can be passed from healthy-appearing animals to people. 

Highlighting the seminar were talks from Doug Ode (pictured) from Royalwood Farms in Brandon, and Sylvia Wolters from Pipestone Systems, both of whom explained how they welcome the public to view animals involved in their farms, as well as the measures they use to keep visitors safe.  Ode’s family has welcomed visitors to their farm during a summertime open house each of the past 11 years.  Their most recent open house attracted over 1500 visitors, who toured animal barns, the milking parlor, and enjoyed a pancake breakfast.  Wolters coordinates the Discovery Barn at the Sioux Empire and Minnesota State Fair, which brings fairgoers up close to farm animals such as pigs, cattle, and poultry. 

Experts in zoonotic disease prevention from the Minnesota Department of Health, Dr. Joni Scheftel and Carrie Klumb, informed the audience about zoonotic diseases associated with goats, influenza from swine exhibits, and agritourism educational efforts in Minnesota.  Also presenting information were Dr. Josh Clayton, State Epidemiologist, Dr. Jennifer Hsu from USD/Sanford School of Medicine, and Dr. Todd Tedrow, from the Animal Industry Board. 

The South Dakota One Health effort is a collaboration among the SD Department of Health, SDSU Extension, USD Sanford School of Medicine, the SD Animal Industry Board, and SD Area Health Education Centers.  Recent efforts have been supported by a grant from the Bush Foundation through the SD Community Foundation.  One Health seminars are held roughly twice a year, and cover a topic of interest that bridges human, animal, and environmental health. 

A recording of the meeting, as well as links to presentations from this and previous meetings, are available at www.onehealthsd.org.