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Producer Risk Assessment. in Plant Biosecurity Management. Question:. What is meant by the term “risk assessment”?. Answer:. For the purpose of this course:

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producer risk assessment

Producer Risk Assessment

in Plant Biosecurity Management


What is meant by the term

“risk assessment”?


For the purpose of this course:

Risk assessment is defined as a producer process to identify existing threats, conditions, and practices that are potentially conducive to theft, vandalism, or a plant biosecurity event.

A risk assessment is one of producers’ first steps to preparedness planning and mitigation activities in plant biosecurity management.

Note: You may also see the term “risk assessment” applied to other segments of the agricultural sector, including for financial planning purposes. Broadly defined, risk assessment is a process to detect the likelihood of exposure to any type of hazardous condition or undesired event that could result in loss of assets.


Is the term “risk assessment”

synonymous with the term

“vulnerability assessment”?

answer the terms are closely related
Answer:The terms are closely related.

Vulnerability assessment includes estimations

on the

  • Probability of an undesirable occurrence
  • Potential impact of an event on humans
  • Potential impact of an event on property and the environment
  • Potential impact of an event on income and the agricultural sector
  • Inventory of available internal and external resources to respond to an event

Sources: FEMA;

for example
For example . . .

In Lesson One, you learned that experts in government

agencies, private businesses, and nonprofit organizations

believe that the agricultural sector is “highly vulnerable”to

an agroterrorist attack. Those opinions are based upon

vulnerability assessments.

Your role as an Extension educator is to help producers

lower their vulnerability to the threat of agroterrorism.

To do this, you will teach producers how to identify risks

that can lead to intentional and unintentional biosecurity

problems, by having them complete a plant biosecurity risk

assessment checklist.

what to tell producers difference between the two processes
What to tell producers:Difference between the two processes

Risk Assessment . . .

a process to identify hazards, conditions, and

practices that potentially threaten an agricultural


Vulnerability Assessment . . .

a process toevaluate(a)the probability of an

undesirable event caused by an identified risk, and

(b) the consequences of an event on family members,

employees, buildings, machinery, crops, and income.

for your information
For your information . . .

As Extension professionals often serve in

leadership capacities for local communities, it is

important for you to better understand the elements

of a vulnerability assessment.

Therefore, you will be asked to read a section of

FEMA’s Emergency Management Guide for

Business and Industry later in this lesson. You will

find that the concepts in this reading are also

applicable to agribusiness companies and

agricultural operations.

fyi continued
FYI –continued. . .

Your teaching resources included with this lesson have

simplified versions of a risk assessment checklist

and vulnerability assessment form, both designed for

agricultural producers. Because the introductory-type

materials target only basicskills, your learners will not

become “experts” in these processes.

However, after producers have applied these materials to

their own operation, they will have achieved an understanding

of essential concepts, and become engaged in initial

preparedness planning efforts.


What does a plant biosecurity risk assessment entail?

using a risk assessment checklist you will teach producers how to evaluate
Using a risk assessment checklist, you will teach producers how to evaluate:
  • the safety and security of their entire farming operation, including equipment, structures, and rules for visitors
  • routine practices in fields, nurseries, orchards, and vineyards
  • adherence to security measures, and
  • use of their current biosecurity plan, if one has previously been established.

How will producers use the results from their risk assessment checklist?


The findings from the risk assessment checklist will help producers

  • understand the need for best practices in plant biosecurity management
  • outline plant biosecurity mitigation activities for their operation
for your information15
For your information . . .

Later in this lesson you will have an

opportunity to learn how

  • a risk assessment process is one part of a comprehensive preparedness plan.
  • to relate the results of a risk assessment process to a vulnerability assessmentprocess.

Now return to Lesson 3, Teaching Scenario 1


American Management Association (2003, February). Elements of Emergency Planning. Retrieved from AMA at

Federal Emergency Management Agency (2004, January). Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry. Retrieved from FEMA at http:

Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service (2004, June). Rural Security Planning: Protecting Family, Friends, and Farm. Document Number PPP-64.

University of Arkansas (2003) Arkansas Farm Biosecurity Plan. Retrieved from U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service at