Regional IPM Centers Receive International Award of Excellence

For more than 20 years, a national group of experts in integrated pest management (IPM) have selected champions in their field to receive awards of excellence. In 2012, Regional IPM Centers were named among the “world-class thought leaders” to receive this prestigious award.

The awards were presented during a special ceremony at the 7th International IPM Symposium in Memphis, March 27-29. The Symposium announcement praises the Centers for more than a decade of contributions:

Over 10 years ago, the USDA established four Regional IPM Centers in the United States, in the west, the south, the northeast, and north central states. As a collaborative network, these Centers are being recognized for their groundbreaking work. They listen to growers, consumers, extension professionals, researchers, regulators, and industry groups to identify priority IPM challenges. Then they coordinate the same stakeholders as team members in finding and promoting solutions. “The Regional IPM Centers have demonstrated the capacity and commitment necessary to dramatically increase multistate, regional, and national collaborations,” said Herb Bolton, National Program Leader, USDA/NIFA.

The northeastern Eco Apple program was also honored for its commitment to IPM excellence. This innovative collaboration started as an IPM Apple Working Group convened by Red Tomato, the IPM Institute of North America, researchers from UMass and Cornell, and some veteran apple growers—with support from the Northeastern IPM Center.

When growers use advanced IPM practices for apple production, the benefits are good for society as a whole, but the risks and costs are borne by the growers alone. In 2005, “Eco Apple” was created to support local family-owned orchards, promote IPM techniques, and help them market their produce in a way that rewards their efforts. It also created consumer demand for sustainably produced apples, driving even more adoption of IPM practices.

See the full list of award recipients honored at the 7th International IPM Symposium.