Dairy Discussions seminar to focus on cybersecurity for farmers, food handlers

Iowa State University Extension
The farming sector is sometimes targeted by cybercriminals because of farming’s critical function — supplying the food and fiber that humans and animals depend upon.

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Dairy Team will host its annual Dairy Discussions seminar on Thursday, Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Sioux County Office in Orange City.

This year’s focus is on cybersecurity issues for food producers including farmers, manufacturers and processors.

“Cybersecurity is a bigger problem than many realize, unless they have been directly affected,” said Fred Hall, dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “There will be four presentations all relating back to the issue of cybersecurity and our food supply providers.”

On-Farm Cybersecurity Threats

During the first presentation, “On-Farm Cybersecurity Threats,” Doug Jacobson will help producers understand where threats are and how they can manifest in farm systems.

Jacobson is director of the Iowa State University Center for Cybersecurity Innovation and Outreach, and professor of electrical and computer engineering. He is the lead PI in the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity sponsored ReCIPE coalition, which is focused on securing cyber-physical systems. Jacobson also created the Iowa Cyber Hub, which is dedicated to increasing the cyber workforce in Iowa.

The Law and Cyber Security

Special Agent Ward Crawley of the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations Cyber Crime Bureau knows that living in the Digital Age makes life simpler for farmers and producers, but also for the bad guys. He is working to combat the surge of cybercrime in Iowa food producers and processors.

Crawley is a lifelong resident of Iowa. He received his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in 1995. Later that year, he graduated from the Iowa Department of Public Safety Basic Academy and began his employment with the Division of Criminal Investigation. While working for the DCI, Ward has been assigned to the Casino Gaming Unit, the DPS Intelligence Bureau, and most recently, the Cyber Crime Bureau.

Safeguarding Your Social Media Sites

Iowa State University network field specialist Scott Saunders believes that social media – specifically Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – can be useful tools to promote a business, but also come with cybersecurity risks. Saunders will discuss ways to protect personal and professional social media accounts.

'What Are You Doing to Protect Your Farm?' Dairy Producer Panel Discussion

Dairy producer panel moderator Deb Wehde is a field representative for Agropur. She works with dairy farmers in South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota who sell their milk to the company’s cheese plant in Hull. She will lead the discussion with local dairy producers on the cybersecurity issues they are concerned with. The producer panel will feature Kurt Wierda, Plymouth Dairy; Anthony Nunes, NuStar Dairy; and Michael Nettinga, M&M Dairy.

There is no registration fee, but registration is required. To register call 712-737-4230 or register online at https://go.iastate.edu/OAOMX4. Deadline to register is Nov. 30.

For more information, contact Hall at 712-737-4230 or fredhall@iastate.edu.