Extension Team Visits Rockingham County

VCE Dairy Agent, Jeremy Daubert, helped arrange several tours to various types of dairy farms and a meeting with large-animal veterinarian, Dr. Bob Hill. The team gained a lot of great input regarding dairy practices, antibiotic use, and the new Veterinary Feed Directive law. The team also visited the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction and a local produce grower’s farm and packing house.

Extension Team Visits Franklin and Pittsylvania Counties

The team met with Cynthia Martel, VCE Dairy Agent in Franklin Co. and discussed our project and gained insights into possible outreach opportunities with the Virginia dairy industry. We toured nearby farms including Hammock’s Dairy, which incorporates the philosophy of using best management practices to maintain optimal herd health to minimize antibiotic use.

"Agriculture and Environment" Seminar series

Jill Stewart, Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill will present a talk entitled, “The impact of intensive livestock production on the evolution and dissemination of antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus.” An expert in microbial source tracking, Dr. Stewart is well known for her work in environmental health microbiology. The talk will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 3:00-4:00 pm, in the Fralin Auditorium on the campus of Virginia Tech. Refreshments will be served in the Fralin Atrium at 2:45. For more information about this event, please contact megorust@vt.edu.

Undergraduate Research Symposium

One of our Project Team students, Kendall Fogler, shares about her summer experience in the Virginia Tech Fralin Student Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program, under the tutelage of Dr. Monica Ponder: “The Fralin SURF program that I participated in this summer mirrored graduate school training accompanied by weekly professional-developmental seminars. The final research symposium, held on July 30th, was the pinnacle of the summer. Through sharing my poster, I was able to discuss research on the validation of recovery methods for antibiotic-resistant bacteria with anyone willing to listen. I loved being able to talk about antibiotic resistance and how it is currently affecting humanity. Many listeners had never considered the subject before and immediately became fascinated; others were informed on the topic and were relieved to hear that research was being conducted in order to understand the consequences of overuse of antibiotics. The whole summer was an educational experience of a life time.”

Environmental Dimension of Antibiotic Resistance (EDAR) Conference

The EDAR Conference is attended by a consortium of scientists from around the world that are interested in better understanding how the environment (e.g., water, soil, wastewater, agriculture) can serve as a source and pathway for the spread of antibiotic resistance. The group was founded by Ed Topp of Agri Food Canada in 2011, with an expert workshop held in Montebello, Canda. Since then, the group has grown substantially, meeting in 2013 in Xiamen, China, and most recently in May 2015 in Wernigerode, Germany. Here, Dr. Pruden delivered an invited lecture on the closing day of the conference, synthesizing some of the key themes from the conference and her own work in order to develop a framework for identifying mitigation strategies for limiting the spread of antibiotic resistance through the environment.