MDARD Offers Limited Financial Assistance to HPAI-impacted Dairy Farms to Participate in Critical, Real-Time Research Studies

Jun 19, 2024

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Tim Boring announced immediate financial assistance for Michigan dairy farms impacted by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) to help advance research on the disease towards aiding farms in recovery. Funding is available for up to 20 farms, up to $28,000 per farm. This assistance is in addition to funding already available from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to HPAI-impacted dairy farms in Michigan.

Eligible farms must work with MDARD and USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Veterinary Services (APHIS) to complete epidemiological investigations on their farms, participate in dairy herd real-time longitudinal studies research with MDARD and Michigan State University and engage in HPAI A(H5N1) programs related to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) if applicable. This funding is made available through MDARD's Emergency Response programming.

"From the beginning of Michigan's outbreak of HPAI in dairy cattle, MDARD has worked closely with our state, federal and industry partners to quickly respond to this virus. We understand our dairy farmers are facing unprecedented challenges, and this action is an important step toward supporting them during this emergency," said MDARD Director Tim Boring.  "Our HPAI-impacted farms have been incredibly cooperative in Michigan s One Health approach to combat this disease. The research opportunities through this package will help us advance science in real-time to best develop our continued rapid response."

"Today's bold action shows Michigan continues to be proactive with its HPAI response. I'm glad Michigan dairy farms will be getting much-needed financial support and the ability to participate in real-time research, which will help us combat HPAI in our state moving forward. As this situation continues to evolve, I will remain in regular communication with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on how best we can support and protect Michigan farmers and our dairy industry", said State Rep. Reggie Miller, Chairwoman of the House Agriculture Policy Committee (D-Van Buren Township).

MDARD continues to implement a proactive, science-based approach to mitigating the spread of HPAI. Michigan's response has been a one-health approach, working with federal, state and local partners to address both animal and public health concerns rapidly. Three USDA emergency management teams have been on the ground assisting MDARD in day-to-day responses at all impacted poultry facilities statewide. An epidemiological team from USDA is also deployed to further assist in tracing and testing within dairy herds to be able to provide real-time information.

Director Boring took proactive actions by signing a "Determination of Extraordinary Emergency" order May 1, to further protect Michigan's poultry and livestock industries from the ongoing threat of HPAI. Michigan's order enhances USDA's federal order, which was issued April 24.

As part of the disease response, MDARD is working with herd veterinarians to monitor the health of the animals and conduct trace investigations. Additionally, MDARD and various federal, state, and local partners continue to offer personal protective equipment at the request of dairy operations. The department continues diligently working with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of HPAI to mitigate the spread of the disease and provide outreach.  

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