College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Department of Veterinary Medicine


Extension and Outreach Activities

The Extension Program of the Department of Veterinary Medicine supports the mission of University of Maryland Extension. Our main goal is to build effective education and outreach programs concentrating on biosecurity and flock health management to prevent poultry diseases such as Avian Influenza, which can be detrimental to the economy and to the poultry industry as a whole.

Major Extension activities are as follows:

  • Assist in state, regional, national, and international efforts to prevent and control Avian Influenza (AI) by preparing educational materials on AI prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.
  • Provide up-to-date information on poultry diseases such as AI and Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) to poultry industry representatives, Extension specialists, educators, veterinarians, state and federal agencies, scientists, and the general public via fact sheets, phone calls, emails, websites, and other media.
  • Build effective education and outreach programs on biosecurity and flock health management.
  • Conduct poultry health and biosecurity workshops for small poultry flock owners.

Our Extension Program currently focuses on Avian Influenza Prevention and Control through our eXtension Community of Practice (CoP) on Avian Influenza, under the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN). 

AI CoP content Pages:

Currently, 32 content pages have been published on the eXtension Avian Influenza Homepage.

Under the following major topics:

1.General Information

2. Avian Influenza in birds

3. Influenza virus in humans

4. Protection against Avian Influenza

5. Government response

The Avian Influenza Cop continues to developand update topic pages and provide relevant, up-to-date information on Avian Influenza for public education.

Moodle Courses:

Free, online, self-directed certification courses on Avian Influenza Biosecurity for Emergency Responders, Backyard Flock Owners, and Youth and 4-H members have been created and are currently under review at Below is a brief synopsis of each course.

Emergency Responders: This course targets emergency response personnel including paid and volunteer EMS, firefighters, law enforcement, and task force teams. Students will learn in-depth emergency management information on Avian Influenza, focusing on the viral agent, prevention, response, and recovery of an outbreak. This course may also serve as a readiness assessment tool for state and federal task force members involved in an Avian Influenza response.

Backyard Flock Owners: This course serves as a tool for small flock, backyard, homestead, and hobby poultry owners to become more informed on Avian Influenza. Students will learn how AI can affect them and their flocks, biosecurity measures that should be practiced to prevent disease, and how to respond and recover in an event of an outbreak.

Youth and 4-H Members: This course is designed for 9-19 year-olds and members of 4-H/FFA. Participants will learn about the Avian Influenza virus, as well as biosecurity measures that are necessary to prevent the spread of disease. 

Quick Reference Guide:

A Quick Reference Guide to Avian Influenza Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery was created for the benefit of emergency response personnel, including Extension agents and specialists. This guide reviews the key components of the Avian Influenza Biosecurity for Emergency Responders and may be used as necessary in the field during an outbreak response. The Quick Reference Guide may be accessed here. 

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