This week, Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano unveiled new television ads for the public awareness campaign “If you see something, say something.” An article in the Homeland Security Newswire says it’s a new strategy to encourage the public to report suspicious activity or potential threats to national and even local security.

This theme, however, can very appropriately apply to the livestock and agricultural industries that are not immune from all types of incidents from thefts of cattle and copper, attacks on cattle, vandalism and even potential introduction of foreign animal diseases.

Veterinarians spend a lot of time in their trucks and visiting farms – you are in a prime position to notice things out of the ordinary in your agricultural communities such as suspicious individuals, vehicles, damage to farms or unusual animal disease. Most of the food-animal veterinarians I know have some sort of relationship with local or state law enforcement or government agencies that can respond quickly to an event. You are part of hte eyes and ears of the community.

You are also in a great position to educate your clients and their employees that it’s okay “If you see something, say something.”