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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2007


Contact: Dr. Sarah Mason, director
NCDA&CS Veterinary Division Poultry Health Program
(919) 733-7601

Veterinary team honored as Employees of the Month

Commissioner Troxler and the Veterinary Poultry Health Team
Commissioner Troxler and the Veterinary Poultry Health Team
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RALEIGH - Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler recently recognized 13 employees of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Veterinary Division with Employee of the Month honors for their efforts to protect North Carolina's poultry industry.

"The Poultry Animal Health Field Services Team has done a tremendous amount of work training and preparing for a poultry disease outbreak," Troxler said. "Any highly contagious disease would be devastating to our state's more than $3 billion poultry industry."

In addition, the team stepped up surveillance at flea markets and bird markets along the North Carolina-Virginia border after an outbreak of avian influenza in West Virginia that required extra work and travel in the evenings and on weekends.

The poultry health team works with the poultry industry to maintain a disease-free flock. When a disease outbreak occurs, a member of the poultry health team is dispatched to the farm to talk with the farmer and take necessary samples. If a farm is placed under quarantine, the staffer must return after the situation is under control to inspect the farm and release the farm from quarantine.

"This team has shown they are ready to respond in case of a highly contagious disease," Troxler said. "Each member has communicated clearly and frequently with industry members in their area and maintained good relationships that will help the department's ability to respond quickly in case of a disease outbreak."

The team members are: Jimmy Collie of Spring Hope, Danny Fryar of Clinton, Travis Love of Pilot Mountain, Brannon Preslar of Bennett, Jeffrey Hardin of Angier, Sylvia Johnson of Rose Hill, Charles Ivey of Marshville, Darrell Minton of North Wilkesboro, Scott Rackley of Nashville, Scott Moore of Thurmond, Otis Lynn Johnson of Statesville, William Ronnie Smith of Troutman, and Ryan Higgins of Sparta.

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NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047