USDA is inviting you to become a Flock Defender. The U.S. poultry industry is one of the largest in the world and an important sector of our agricultural economy. Keeping birds safe from infectious disease is a top priority and responsibility for all owners, growers, workers, and enthusiasts involved in raising poultry.
Disease outbreaks, such as Avian Influenza (AI), Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND) and Salmonella, lead to devastation of our flocks and result in job and financial losses.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is committed to helping everyone protect their poultry – from commercial enterprises that raise the poultry and eggs to individuals who raise chickens and other breeds in their backyards.
APHIS continues to expand the Defend the Flock education program, providing the information, tools, and resources you need to make sure that you are doing everything possible to keep your birds healthy and reduce the risk that an infectious disease will spread from your property to other flocks.
Raised on a corn and soybean farm in central Illinois, Mary Auth understands farmers and farming. She has long been directly involved with production agriculture. Mary has been a marketing and communications consultant to various sectors in the agricultural industry for more than 40 years. She has served as a consultant for ag commodity groups, farming operations, seed organizations and agricultural legal services. When she’s not providing critical insights and perspectives to any number of ag initiatives, she enjoys traveling the globe, meeting friends old and new, and continuing learning about how people communicate. Mary is a graduate of the University of Illinois and the Illinois Ag Leadership Program. Supporting the innovative work of Summit Livestock Facilities is a natural fit for her.