May 18th, 2018


  1. Encourage active, self-directed learning in students of all ages
  2. Promote communication skills
  3. Encourage knowledge sharing between livestock owners
  4. Build confidence in novice livestock owners
  5. Impress upon attendees the importance of biosecurity and animal health
  6. Inspire participants to create and enforce farm biosecurity plans


  • 1 facilitator per group
  • 3 to 8 participants per group, any number of groups


  • Calendars
  • Pens and paper
  • Flipcharts and markers (or blackboard or dry erase board)
  • Appropriate number of sequenced handouts for participants

Activity Structure

Assemble small groups of 3 to 8 people around a table; a mix of ages and livestock experience is best. Distribute the first page of “Chronicle of Events” (June 1) and allow time for reading and group discussion. Have a volunteer read the page out loud if reading ability of group members is questionable. Preferable: wait for participants to discuss, question, and ask for more information before distributing more handouts. In this early stage of the activity, facilitators may need to play a larger role keeping things moving forward than later in the activity. Throughout the activity, reward thoughtful and relevant questions from participants with more information about the situation to encourage development of active learning skills. Color-coding of paper for each separate type of handout helps with organization and clarity. Facilitators should not answer content-based questions; groups should be encouraged to draw on collective knowledge and experience, with facilitator suggesting topic research when needed. Facilitator should record questions or issues needing additional research and discussion.

Fictional Farms

  1. Goin’ Broke Farm
  2. Hopeful Acres
  3. Just 4 Fun Farm

Handouts upon request in probable order

Processing Questions at Activity Conclusion

  • What management topics did your group discuss?
  • What are some of the major differences between these farms?
  • What biosecurity concerns do you have about each farm?
  • What pasture management methods could be improved at each farm for pasture productivity and disease control?
  • How could water accesses be changed at each farm to increase biosecurity?
  • How could additional fencing be used to improve management?
  • What disease agent(s) is/are at work?
  • Where and how was the disease agent probably contracted at each farm?
  • How was the disease agent spread between and within farms?
  • What biosecurity recommendations can you make for each farm?
  • What management changes can increase biosecurity for each farm?
  • What are the advantages of visitor logs?
  • What can you do if your neighbors have poor biosecurity?
  • Adults: would this educational approach be effective or of interest to the youth you work with?
  • This exercise was created to emphasize basic biosecurity principles and protocols. What other topics could be emphasized through other exercises?