Talbert takes home Morrison Swine Innovator Prize again

University of Illinois veterinary student receives award for Biosecurity Box.

Ann Hess, Content Director

September 22, 2020

2 Min Read
National Hog Farmer/Ann Hess

Ever since Zack Talbert unveiled his Bio Barrier 360 technology at the 2019 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference in St. Paul, Minn., the Morrison Swine Innovator Prize recipient has been hard at work perfecting the fumigation system. Today that hard work paid off, as Talbert once again claimed the Morrison title, this time for his fumigation room device, the Biosecurity Box

"[It's] a very innovative way to bring items into the farm, and he's doing it very innovatively and actually pursuing his idea further by creating this box and it has a patent pending for it," says Perle Zhitnitskiy, University of Minnesota veterinary professor. "We cannot wait to see the Biosecurity Box coming to life in the near future as Zack is winning the prize for the second year in a row."

With a clean and dirty side, Talbert says the Biosecurity Box is almost like a filing cabinet. Powered by a motorized water pump, the device has an internal misting system that outlines the entire inside of the box. The 360-degree internal misting system ensures full surface coverage, eliminating the need to manually rotate items. There is also a built-in exhaust fan that clears disinfectant fumes fast and efficiently. All disinfectant liquid stays internalized inside the product creating a safe environment for workers.


"You're going to get full coverage and you're going to get it a lot faster, which means you're going to technically use less chemicals," Talbert says. "You're also going to mitigate the chances of pathogens entering the farm through the fumigation room, because items are now being fully covered with disinfectants. Proper spacing is still important to consider when using this product to prevent shadowing effects."

Both the Biosecurity Box and the Bio Barrier 360 are now available through JBI Distributors and Services, a disinfectant and personal protective equipment company based out of Red Oak, Iowa.

The Morrison Swine Innovator Prize honors the legacy of the late Bob Morrison, a University of Minnesota professor who coordinated the Leman Swine Conference for many years. The prize has been awarded three times, and every time to a University of Illinois veterinary student. In addition to Talbert's awards in 2019 and 2020, Megan Bloemer won in 2018 for her work on improving biosecurity practices at truck washes.

"With this award, we hope to encourage students to pursue work that matters for the swine industry and to do that by learning, then by teaching us what they've learned in the conference, and also most of all to have fun while they're doing it," says Zhitnitskiy. "We are trying to support the students that want to have an impact in the swine industry and be the next generation of leaders in our industry. We want them to be innovative, to have problem solving skills and to let us know the innovation that they come up with."

About the Author(s)

Ann Hess

Content Director, National Hog Farmer

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