Issue: Biological threats and hazards can significantly impact our nation’s health, critical infrastructure, and the economy, and DHS Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agriculture Specialists (CBPAS) work diligently to safeguard and manage U.S. air, land, and maritime borders to screen for evolving agricultural and other threats that may cross our borders daily. However, a curriculum analysis is required in order to ensure the CBPAS basic academy training program is addressing the most up-to-date biological threats that may source from humans, animals, plants, insects, and food safety.
Objective: To ensure that the CBP’s training curriculum is addressing the most up to date biothreats, the Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense (CBTS) Center of Excellence is performing a project involving a curriculum review, gap analysis and needs assessment of the CBP’s Office of Training and Development’s (OTD) existing Agriculture Specialist training programs regarding biological threats to human and animal health, to plant health, or to animal and plant products. The gap analysis will identify curriculum deficiencies in the subject matter areas complementary to the CBTS mission, upon which new curricula will be based and developed.
Outcome: This project will provide a baseline to CBP’s OTD of what currently exists so that stakeholder and end-user new training requests can be easily decided and developed into new project proposals/work plans for future CBTS development.
Value Proposition: The goal of this project is to improve detection, interdiction, and deterrence of insect pests and vectors of livestock, plant pathogens, and fruit and vegetables that might threaten our country’s health and economy.
Heather Simmons, DVM, MSVPH, IIAD associate director and as Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service associate department head and extension program leader for Veterinary Medical Extension