Thursday, March 31, 2016

Annual Advisory and Steering Committee Meetings Help the Western IPM Center Succeed

The Western Integrated Pest Management Center has a big territory and big responsibility. We're charged with promoting the development, adoption and evaluation of integrated pest management in 13 large Western states and the Pacific Island Territories. Not only is it a huge region geographically, it's also home to very diverse agricultural systems and many specialty crops.

To help stay informed about pest-management issues and IPM priorities throughout the region, we have an 11-member advisory committee and five-member steering committee that gather once a year to provide updates about the issue they see or face in their daily work. This year, the committees met in Portland on March 9 and 10 and spent a long and valuable day and a half sharing insights.

“Several specific issues raised included the importance of communicating IPM success stories, documenting the alignment of Center activities and goals, the importance of the information network in monitoring regulatory activity and providing balanced responses to requests for information in the Federal Register," explained Center Associate Director Matt Baur. "The group also discussed problems associated with invasive species and climate change, and the need for IPM to provide common-sense solutions to pest problems.”

The meeting is important for the Center as we set plans and priorities, and we'd like to thank all of the advisory and steering committee members who were able to attend:

  • Steve Ela, Partner and Operations Manager, Ela Family Farms, Colorado
  • Anil Shrestha, Professor of Weed Science, Department of Plant Science, California State University, Fresno
  • Doug Walsh, Professor and Entomologist, Department of Entomology, Washington State University Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center
  • Ken Kamiya, Owner, Kamiya Papaya, Hawaii
  • Ben Bowell, Organic Education Specialist, Oregon Tilth; Organic Specialist, National Resource Conservation Service
  • Herb Bolton, National Program Leader, Division of Plant Systems-Protection, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
  • Daniel Sonke, Manager, Agriculture Sustainability Programs, Campbell Soup Company
  • Andy Jensen, Manager, Northwest Potato Research Commission
  • Scott Ockey, Field Development Manager, Western U.S., Certis USA
  • Rebecca (Becky) Sisco, Regional Field Coordinator, Western Region IR-4

The Center staff, co-directors and comment coordinators also attended.