2018 Annual Report

Center for Animal Health and Food Safety Annual Report 2019

From the Director

CAHFS director, Andres Perez

In a world of growing needs, there are many in need of help. Feeding the planet responsibly is one of the most important challenges facing humankind today.

By the year 2050 the world population will reach 9 billion, with a consequent increase in food demand. Much of that population growth will occur in developing countries, which are also agricultural-based economies with a huge potential for producing the food the world needs. Food production and market access could also help those regions develop and contribute to a reduction of hunger around the globe.

Helping those in need is an ethical principle that applies to most cultures. The ancient Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle said, “The unfortunate need people who will be kind to them; the prosperous need people to be kind to.” Most Western and Eastern organized religions also support this principle. The Dalai Lama said that “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.” In the New Testament of the Bible, the Greek word ἀγάπη (agapē) is used to refer indistinctly to “charity” and “love.” In the Quran, charity is mentioned as one of the pathways to reach Heaven. There are also many ways to help. The Jewish philosopher Maimonides suggests that the greatest level of charity is supporting people in a way so that they will not need to be dependent upon others.

A proverb that nicely illustrates that principle is, “Give a man a fish, and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you will feed him for a lifetime.”

The University of Minnesota Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) believes that helping the agricultural sector both in the US and internationally, including developing economies, to acquire the knowledge and develop the skills required “to fish” is the pathway for sustainable world development.

For example, although sub-Saharan Africa’s share of global exports is minimal (3.5%), it was worth nearly $455 billion in 2013, which is roughly 10 times the amount of aid the region received the same year. Following the U of M mission, CAHFS is “driven to discover” ways to support practitioners and livestock producers worldwide to produce healthy and safe products in a sustainable, environmentally respectful manner. This effort supports trade and, ultimately, the development of countries and regions.

In this report, we provide a quick overview of the activities conducted by the five flagship CAHFS programs in 2018 and the efforts we made to contribute to the creation of a better world for all of us.

Andres Perez signature



Andrés Perez
Director, Center for Animal Health and Food Safety
Endowed Chair of Global Animal Health and Food Safety

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History of CAHFS

The Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) was founded in 2001, and grew out of two high-profile public health issues related to animal health and food safety. Read more

Plan for impact

The world’s most pressing issues—increases in global population size, food insecurity, social inequality, and environmental deterioration—cannot be evaluated through a single lens. Read more

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CAHFS by the numbers

CAHFS by the numbers - facts and figures about the center in 2018

CAHFS around the world: projects and partnerships

The Pioneer Fund

CAHFS has a long history of supporting its veterinary public health (VPH) programs through local and national experiential learning and research opportunities. Established in 2012, the Pioneer Fund was initially designed to support VPH residents with funding for experiential learning at local, national, and international levels.

In 2016, the fund was expanded to include University of Minnesota faculty and staff, as well as residents, who seek experiential opportunities for professional development in the field of veterinary public health. It is awarded twice a year and recipients of awards from the fund have traveled to Uganda, Costa Rica, Haiti, and Chile, as well as various conferences around the United States.

The Pioneer Fund is the only fund available specifically intended to open up opportunities for faculty, staff, or residents who work in veterinary public health at the University of Minnesota. Professional development opportunities are increasingly vital to the complex and changing world of public health.

Find out more about this fund and ways to support professional development opportunities at cahfs.umn.edu/give

Donor spotlight: Lyle Vogel

Lyle Vogel and his wife, Rosemary at a Gopher football game during his 50-year reunion Lyle Vogel and his wife, Rosemary at a Gopher football game during his 50-year reunion

Benefitting student experience and public health

The impactful instruction of R.K. Anderson, DVM, MPH, DACVB, DACVPM, and Stan Diesch, ’56 DVM, ’63 MPH—University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) professors emeriti who pioneered the College’s public health curriculum—launched Retired Colonel Lyle Vogel, ’67 DVM, ’78 MPH, into a career of public health veterinary medicine and public service.

After graduating from the CVM, Vogel entered the US Army, where he found that his foundation of public health courses equipped him to succeed. Vogel says the MPH degree he later completed at the University of Minnesota in 1978 helped him move further and further up the ranks in the Army. “I ended my Army career after more than 26 years of service with the rank of Colonel (O-6),” he says.

Vogel then started a 16 year career with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) where his initial primary duties concerned public health policy development and implementation. While at the AVMA, he often crossed paths with Will Hueston, DVM, PhD, University of Minnesota professor emeritus and first director of CAHFS, whose expansive and inclusive vision of veterinary education included starting the Pioneer Fund.

When we are able to share to help others, we should do so.
-Lyle Vogel

Vogel was fearful that the donor base for the Pioneer Fund would be small because, although almost all veterinarians contribute to public health, few identify themselves as public health veterinarians. “That gave me incentive to contribute to this fund instead of some other worthy choices,” he says. “When we are able to share to help others, we should do so.”

To this day, Vogel values the many international experiences he had throughout his career, which he says enabled him to better understand global aspects of health and appreciate how international, regional, and national policies impact U.S. veterinarians. “This Fund allows students to obtain this experience early in their careers, so they can apply that knowledge throughout a greater proportion of their career,” he says. “It benefits both the public good and the students themselves.”

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Fish farm in Chile

Highlighting successes in 2018

CAHFS is organized into five programs that span the continuum of food systems grand challenges.

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Improving health systems for humans, animals, and the environment through policy program development, implementation, and evaluation 

Deepak Haarith gives a presentation on policy field analysisDeepak Haarith gives a presentation on policy field analysis during a class taught by Kaylee Myhre Errecaborde

Working with veterinary public health and preventive medicine residents, graduate students, and faculty from across the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine, School of Public Health, and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, CAHFS’ policy program has updated and released 26 policy briefs covering a range of timely topics on food, agriculture, and nutrition. z.umn.edu/PolicyBriefs

Three new innovative policy-based courses were launched to support graduate and professional training across the globe, covering topics in governance, policy, regulation, and international organization. Working with the U of M Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the courses were developed with accessible online content that can be used to enhance program outputs and outcomes.

Stakeholder engagement continues to be a pillar for policy change, and CAHFS faculty have been invited to contribute to a number of important meetings with local and international partners. These meetings have allowed for engagement with industry, private sector, and nonprofit stakeholders and have paved the way for the launch of the newly redesigned Engaging Intergovernmental Organizations program in 2019. z.umn.edu/EngagingIGOs

For more information about our policy program, contact Kaylee Myhre Errecaborde, DVM, at myhre044@umn.edu

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Delivering services to the University of Minnesota community that empower international research collaborations and catalyze their impact

UMN faculty and researchers in Puerto Varas, Chile smiling at the camera A grant secured through the international research program sent CAHFS researchers to study salmon disease in Puerto Varas, Chile

The strategic partnership with the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility has grown, allowing for the development of shared resources and new international research collaborations. An output of this successful partnership is the designation of both centers as the new home of the Consortium on One Medicine One Science (COMOS) administration. comos.umn.edu

Following an exploratory visit to Panama co-supported by the Global Programs & Strategy Alliance, an action plan was put in place with multiple U of M units to design and pilot a Panama Node to support a regional network of collaborations in Latin America. The regional hub will allow for new engagement with local, regional, and international organizations and partners.

International partner engagement is the foundation of the research development enterprise. During 2018, we worked with international partners on more than 10 funding proposals and we held exploratory meetings for future calls with partners from more than 15 countries across Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

For more information about our international research program, contact Sol Pérez, DVM, PhD at mperezag@umn.edu

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Translating University knowledge and research into innovative online education programs for students, veterinarians, and professionals

Marcia Lopes receives her ProgRESSVet certificate from Emilio Leon and Andres Perez Marcia Lopes receives her ProgRESSVet certificate from Emilio Leon and Andres Perez

In partnership with the College of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Population Medicine department, the Collegiate Office of Online Learning was established in fall 2018 and is now accepting proposals to support faculty with online education projects. Initial proposals range from the creation of digital learning objects for on-campus courses to the creation of online outreach programs on critical issues in veterinary medicine.

Ten professionals from the veterinary services in Latin America were trained in the second year of our our innovative eLearning initiative Programa Regional de Educación Sistemática de Servicios Veterinarios (ProgRESSVet). The program is composed of eight online courses in Spanish language on topics such as epidemiology, risk analysis, and veterinary public health. progressvet.umn.edu

In response to an outbreak of African swine fever in China, ASFWatch was created. The multimedia toolkit focuses on educating producers about ASF, how the disease is spread, and how to prevent it from entering the United States. z.umn.edu/ASFWatch

For more information about our eLearning program, contact Mary Katherine O’Brien, PhD at obrie713@umn.edu

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Building near-real-time systems for the prevention and mitigation of disease impact through the use of quantitative epidemiology methods

Ehud Elnekave examines genetic data of an emerging multidrug resistant Salmonella bacteriaEhud Elnekave examines genetic data of an emerging multidrug resistant Salmonella bacteria

Aquatic invasive zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil in Minnesota waters
In collaboration with Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, CAHFS researchers have analyzed the aquatic invasive zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil in Minnesota waters and have revealed that human population density is a potential confounding factor affecting the reporting, as well as the spread of the invasive species.

Foot and mouth disease preparedness
A team of researchers simulated the spread of foot and mouth disease in the US swine industry to identify the most efficient and effective control strategies. Research found that applying control strategies to farms based on epidemiological characteristics, such as farm location or swine shipment patterns, as opposed to traditional strategies, such as containment zones or rings, better reduced potential for transmission of infection.

Swine disease global surveillance project
In partnership with the U of M Swine Group and the Swine Health Information Center, CAHFS has developed a near real time global swine disease surveillance system. The Swine Disease Global Surveillance Project covers the three tier-1 foreign swine diseases and other relevant swine diseases. The project has issued 25 reports since November 2017. z.umn.edu/SwineDiseaseSurveillance

For more information about our data analysis program, contact Amy Kinsley, DVM, PhD at carr0603@umn.edu

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Developing the next generation of public health professionals with specialized, vigorous training, and hands-on practice

New cohort of veterinary public health residentsThe new cohort of residents: Gus Brihn, James Kincheloe, and Lauren Bernstein

Three new residents were hired for the two-year residency program in July 2018. Their hiring marked a transition from a staggered hire model to a cohort model, which will lower onboarding costs, streamline the hiring process, and build camaraderie for the residents. Applications for the 2019 cohort are now open. z.umn.edu/VPHPMApp

Four residents completed the program in 2018, and are currently working for the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Services, San Diego Humane Society, Finnish Food Safety Authority, and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Three residents and residency alumni have also passed the 2018 ACVPM board exam.

Residents collaborated on a number of projects with a variety of faculty members. Some of those projects included work on the Antimicrobial Resistance Learning Site, One Health Workforce project, Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, and research on topics such as African swine fever, backyard poultry and highly pathogenic avian influenza, echinococcus, and chronic wasting disease.

For more information about our Residency program, contact Karin Hamilton, DVM, MPH, at khamilton@umn.edu

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The CAHFS One to One is a quarterly newsletter spotlighting the center’s education, outreach, and research activities, including upcoming programs and personal perspectives. Read online

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Curious about CAHFS news and events? Check out The Transmission for a pathway to our perspectives, announcements, and the latest animal health and food safety news. Read online

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