Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Facilitates IPM Statewide
By Kathy Murray, IPM Program Coordinator (Retired)
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry’s (DACF’s) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program provides leadership and expertise to support and promote IPM policies and practices—both on the farm and across Maine’s communities.
Through partnerships and collaborations, part-time support, and student interns, the Maine DACF IPM Program offers programs and services ranging from policy development and educational programming to answering calls from the general public about pest-related issues. Although the program engages in a wide variety of IPM activities, it focuses on three major areas: schools, agriculture/horticulture, and public health.
The Maine School IPM Program provides regular training and technical support for school staff at Maine’s 700-plus K–12 schools through regular workshops, webinars, newsletters, and educational materials such as guidance documents and fact sheets.
This program has been successful due in large part to grant awards from the U.S. EPA and the Northeastern IPM Center, with additional support from the Maine Board of Pesticides Control and several universities and non-profit organizations.
Visit www.maine.gov/schoolipm for more information.
Agriculture and Horticulture
Housed within the Maine Bureau of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Division, the DACF IPM Program supports the state’s agricultural and horticultural industries through annual workshops and periodic technical support.
Public health IPM activities include mosquito monitoring for Maine’s public health arbovirus surveillance program, as well as educational programming and support for land managers, pest control professionals, public agencies, and the general public dealing with rodents, flies, bed bugs, ticks, stinging insects, and other health-impacting pests.
For more information about the Maine DACF IPM Program, visit www.maine.gov/ipm.
About the Author
For more than 22 years, Kathy Murray led the Maine DACF IPM Program, where she was given wide latitude to develop programs and initiatives to address IPM needs across the state.
Murray performed needs-assessment surveys, obtained funding, developed programs, and coordinated activities with partners and collaborators. She led the development of the Maine School IPM Program to support IPM adoption in all of Maine’s public and private K–12 schools.
Murray also worked with other state agencies to develop an IPM plan for prevention and management of pests in and around all capital-area properties owned and leased by the State of Maine. She worked with the DACF team to provide training opportunities for growers and gardeners, property managers, teachers, public health officials, and pest management professionals.
“The wide variety of audiences and activities addressed by the DACF IPM Program keeps things interesting,” says Murray. “We strove to help Maine safeguard people and the environment from the potential risks of pests and pesticides through adoption of IPM practices.”
Murray was one of the winners of the Northeastern IPM Center’s Outstanding Achievements in Integrated Pest Management Award for 2020. The annual award recognizes individuals or organizations whose work on IPM in the Northeast deserves special recognition, with a goal of honoring one professional (or organization) and one student each year. Nominations come from peers whose work relates to IPM in various capacities. Each winner receives $500 and agrees to provide a story and/or host a webinar for the Center.
Since her retirement at the end of April 2021, Murray has enjoyed more time for hiking, camping, and gardening with her husband, Leon, as well as occasional visits with their two adult daughters. The prolonged browntail moth outbreak is affording them the opportunity to practice IPM in their own backyard orchard and woodlot.