College of ACES Video Producers Collaborate with Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Prep
During the spring of 2022, our video unit from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) in the Department of Innovative Media Research and Extension, collaborated with staff from the Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center (SWBFPEPC) with the Border States Agriculture Tabletop Exercise (BSA TTX) training project.
As stated in their executive summary their goal was “to allow participants the opportunity to clarify roles and responsibilities, identify gaps in policy, training, planning, exercise and resources, and improve intra-agency and inter-agency coordination and performance.”
The SWBFPEPC conducted the training, and the video unit provided a variety of video clips to support the training. As written in the BSA TTX executive summary, “The video clips enhanced exercise play by providing additional background, increasing interactivity and simulating real-world events such as breaking news stories and coverage of social media traffic.”
Video producers Art Ruiloba and Tomilee Turner collaborated with Tom Dean and Marshal Wilson, Co-Directors for SWBFPEPC, and Dr. Shannon L. Norris-Parish, Assistant Professor in Agricultural and Extension Education, on this project. Dr. Norris-Parish is one of three professors and ACES faculty serving as a member of the SWBFPEPC.
At the inception of the project, the video unit received a tour of the Santa Teresa International Border Livestock Crossing. The duo learned the U.S. facility has been in operation since 1991 and has the capacity to cross 5,000 livestock per day. It is operated by the Unión Ganadera Regional de Chihuahua, a union-cooperative comprised of livestock producers from throughout the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. The union also operates the livestock facility on the Mexican side of the border, known as Jeronimo. They work with agencies and people from the U.S. side of the border. The director of the facility, Daniel M. Manzanares represents the U.S. and coincidently, is a NMSU alumni. He organized the tour and allowed the video crew access to the entire facility.
The crew also learned that the union operates the facility under the supervision of United States authorities, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the New Mexico Livestock Board. These agencies work with their Mexican counterparts throughout the whole process.
The media unit videotaped the entire facility grounds and gave training participants an in-depth perspective and understanding on how cattle is crossed, processed, sorted and transported to their destinations.
Cattle being moved, gathered, and sorted.
These video clips from the livestock crossing were used at the beginning of the video training modules to set-up a hypothetical emergency scenario where a possible
outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease may have occurred within the imported cattle. An investigation concluded that the disease had been introduced by a malicious character (played by an actor) who planted an infected rag into a cattle trailer on the U.S. side of the border. Simultaneous, a cyber-attack on the State of NM database impeded the collaborating agencies’ ability to deal with the emergency situation.
Participants in the training represented the four border states: Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, as well as others from multiple federal, local, private and NGO entities.
The media unit also provided other video clips for other training modules that focused on engaging participants in the areas of emergency management, animal health, cybersecurity and public information disciplines.
To accomplish the public information portion of the training, the video unit utilized the acting talents of two Agricultural & Extension Education students, Kathryn Petty and Natalia Molinar, who volunteered their time on camera, and were videotaped on campus. Several scenes were videotaped at the KRWG-TV studios. Joe Widmer, Production Manager, and Christian Valle, Sr. Tv Producer at KRWG-TV, assisted the media unit with logistics at the tv studio. Other scenes with Natalia were videotaped at the College of ACES livestock pens.
For more information about the role of the Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center, visit their website at: https://aces.nmsu.edu/preparedness/index.html
Written by: Art Ruiloba, Video Production Specialist, Innovative Media, Research & Extension