Agrosecurity PO411

Agrosecurity is a senior level undergraduate course designed to increase awareness of the issues and vulnerabilities of the US agricultural system to natural and manmade disasters as well as deliberate acts of sabotage.  Students will gain an appreciation for the complicated interconnectedness of agricultural production, infectious diseases, economics, politics, and society.

Students will work in small teams to develop an "attack plan", identifying a susceptible commodity species, an agent (pathogen, toxin, chemical, condition, etc), and a plausible scenario that would result in damage or loss of the vulnerable commodity.  Teams will then be given the scenarios developed by classmates, and asked to develop a "defense plan". 

This course satisfies 3 credits of the GEP IP requirements

Learning Objectives

  • Determine agents of the greatest concern to animal and plant species

  • Identify a potential attack/outbreak and the consequences for US agriculture

  • Develop possible plan(s) to prevent and/or respond to a potential outreak

  • Understand the complex biological, economic, political, and social implications of an outbreak and its response

Topic Areas

  • Historical of agriculture as a weapon
    Animal diseases
    Plant diseases
    Diagnostic networks
    Government agencies
    Risk assessment
    Response plan

Agrosecurity is taught using a combination of in class group discussion, online exercises, online discussion forums, and in class lecture.  The course is led by Dr. Matt Koci, with the significant contributions by experts working to protect our food and public health systems.

Julie Casani, MD, MPH

Public Health Preparedness & Response Branch
NC Dept of Health and Human Services

Bruce Akers, DVM

Regional Veterinary Specialist
NCDA&CS, Emergency Programs Division

Mark Howell

Emergency Programs Specialist
NCCD&CS, Emergency Programs Division


Dr. Matt Koci
Prestage Department of Poultry Science
363 Scott Hall
Office#: 515-5388