USDA Press Release

Text of the Press Release Issued 10/10/2000


WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2000­

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Richard Rominger announced today the creation of Regional Pest Management Centers, which will help focus research and extension efforts on developing and delivering alternative and safer pest management strategies to farmers and ranchers.

"These centers will help strengthen the connection between production agriculture, research, and extension programs, and agricultural stakeholders throughout the United States,"said Rominger. "For example, the centers will play a key role in USDA¹s efforts to work with EPA on the continued implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act."

The centers will bring together university research and extension specialists in each region of the country. In the North Central Region, Michigan State University and the University of Illinois will lead a multi-state coalition. Similar coalitions are established in other areas. Pennsylvania State University and Cornell University are the lead institutions in the Northeast. In the South and West, the University of Florida and the University of California at Davis are the lead institutions.

Rominger emphasized that these cooperative partnerships will involve colleges, universities, and crop production experts from states within the region. The centers will focus their efforts on pest management issues that are common to agricultural production within a region and across state boundaries.

A key objective of the centers is the formation of a responsive pest management network that is able to inform public and private sectors about emerging issues and to identify farmer needs and priorities. The Pest Management Centers will work with USDA and cooperating institutions.