Monday, May 24, 2004

Agro-terror precautions
crisscross Kentucky

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - The campaign for homeland security has reached farms, ranches and veterinary clinics across Kentucky.

The state has given away 40,000 signs to farmers with tips for securing their operations and numbers to call in an emergency.

"We still have a lot to do, but we've made significant strides, I think," said veterinarian Ed Hall, acting director of animal health and homeland security administrator for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

The focus is on how the most productive agricultural nation on Earth can shield its livestock, crops and food-processing plants from a terror attack.

Congress is divided over how much money to commit to protecting against terrorism in rural America.

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's homeland security subcommittee, said he is fighting an effort to allow the secretary of homeland security to distribute money to states with the greatest perceived threats. Such a change would hit rural areas hard, Rogers said. "They don't grow many beef cattle in New York City, and they don't grow much corn in downtown Houston," Rogers said.

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