As agriculture looks ahead to a largely uncertain year, some are taking stock of the good news of 2020, a year fraught with challenges, especially to the livestock sector. While the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting necessary industry responses got most of the headlines, officials at the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) took on a list of challenges and prevented them from hampering an already challenged industry in 2020. With an investment of $27 million in July, APHIS officials set the stage for strong foot-and-mouth disease preparedness in the event the disease appears in U.S. livestock. Response to an H7 low-pathogenic avian influenza cluster in early spring prevented that disease from infecting commercial poultry flocks and causing major economic damage. And specific to COVID-19, APHIS has developed a network of response measures and testing for both livestock animals and human caretakers to minimize the effect of the virus. It’s all on top of major agency efforts to sustain livestock trade by ensuring shipments are free of disease and pests that would otherwise cause delays, ensuring trade revenue for U.S. exporters. See more.