This week on The Farm Report, host Erin Fairbanks is kicking off the show with Meghan Filbert, on the line from the Practical Farmers of Iowa who has been doing a lot of work in the response to avian influenza in Iowa. Talking about what is called the largest outbreak of avian influenza or bird flu, Meghan shares protocol for handling and containing the deadly strain of the virus, mentioning that humans are at low risk to contracting it. Further detailing the bird flu conversation, Erin talks with John Wesselius, a poultry farmer of The Cornucopia, a small family farm in rural Northwest Iowa raising better-than-free-range broiler chickens as well as marketing Certified Naturally Grown vegetables. John takes listeners through his typical day checking on his chickens, relays the importance of farm scale size to healthy birds, what the situation was like once the avian influenza was found in his general area, and what the media is getting right and wrong about the outbreak. In the last segment, Elizabeth Ryan from Breezy Hill and Stone Ridge Orchard is on the line with Erin talking about her intriguing background with a degree in Pomology from Cornell University as well as many of the great things going on at the orchard! This great adventure and more is all thanks to our friends at EscapeMaker.com.
“To date, we know that in Iowa 6 backyard flocks have been affected with bird flu, about 4700 birds, versus 77 commercial operations have been affected with 33.7 million birds – two completely different scales we’re dealing with.” [13:00]
—Meghan Filbert on The Farm Report
“Smaller might be better sometimes.” [30:50]
—John Wesselius on The Farm Report