The Saginaw County farming community is on pins and needles. 66 farms are undergoing testing for tuberculosis in cows after one herd tested positive. Now, state agriculture officials are trying to contain it.
The farm where the T.B. originated from is now quarantine. Now all farms within a 10-mile radius have to undergo testing. This is leaving farmers with a lot of questions and concerns.
The Fredricks Farm has been in the family for more than 100 years. Farming runs in Brian Fredricks blood and he knows when it comes to farming, time is of the essence.
"It's going to be costly as far as time with the spring work coming up,â?? says Fredricks.
Thatâ??s why he's concerned about the upcoming bovine T.B. testing across Saginaw County.
â??Farming is a livelihood. Sometimes we work our entire lives to build up what we have, with cattle especially,â?? says Fredricks.
Brian and 65 other farmers are hoping what they have built isn't destroyed by bovine T.B. The Michigan Department of Agriculture is holding two meetings for farmers Monday. Theyâ??re trying to assure them, there's nothing to worry about yet.
"We're doing an investigation, there's not change in status at this point so as we go on we'll see what the evidence shows us,â?? says Dr. Rick Smith, who works at the Department of Agriculture.
If the tests from one of the 66 farms comes back positive, Michigan could lose its T.B. free zone status.
â??We may have other states that look at Michiganâ??s beef and dairy herds as one that they don't want transported into their state,â?? says Ernie Birchmeier of the Michigan Farm Bureau.
While the testing is costly and time consuming, Rick and his fellow farmers are glad the Department of Agriculture is getting to the bottom of this bovine T.B. outbreak.
â??Hopefully they can contain this into a small area and get it under control,â?? says Fredricks.