National Pesticide Officials Visit UTIA for Three-Day Conference
JACKSON, Tenn. — You may not think about the registration, distribution, sale and use of pesticide products that help control insects, weeds and diseases, but a lot of people in state and federal government do. They meet annually to discuss developments that can affect your health daily. From June 5-7, the State Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG) hosted their national annual in-person meeting at the University of Tennessee’s West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Jackson. This was the first time the meeting has been hosted outside of Washington D.C.
“With multiple types of row crop agriculture in the area, West Tennessee is the perfect location to discuss ongoing developments in pesticide regulation and application,” said Kim Brown, Extension specialist at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) and lead organizer of the event. “We were honored to host the SFIREG conference, and I know participants were able to attend the annual conference at a beautiful location at the forefront of pesticide regulation discussions, as well as witness firsthand what pesticide application in the Mid-South is all about.”
The meeting featured reports and presentations from numerous pesticide research and regulation organizations from across the country. Represented groups included the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO), the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO), the Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC), the Association of American Pesticide Safety Educators (AAPSE) and the Certification and Training Assessment Group (CTAG), in addition to all 10 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regions.
Guests included AAPCO President Megan Patterson, AAPCO Executive Secretary Amy Sullivan, SFIREG Chair Gary Bahr, NASDA Manager of Public Policy Josie Montoney-Crawford and many others.
Researchers and Extension specialists from UTIA hosted the event and gave presentations on the latest developments in West Tennessee pesticide research, regulation and application. Members of UT faculty included Brown, whose expertise is focused on turfgrass and pesticide safety education; Larry Steckel, UT Department of Plant Sciences professor and row crop weed specialist; and Sebe Brown, UT Entomology and Plant Pathology assistant professor and research entomologist.
Attendees were taken on day-long field tours at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center followed by on-site visits to the McCurdy Sod Farm and Meadow’s Farm. Guests also visited AirWorks Flying Service where they witnessed aerial pesticide application demonstrations from the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) and JBI Helicopter Services.
AAPCO, which oversees SFIREG, is a collective of pesticide officials from U.S. states, territories, federal agencies and Canadian provinces. SFIREG and its working committees provide a platform for states and the EPA to resolve challenges to successful implementation of pesticide programs and policies in the USA and territories.
For more information about the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials, please visit aapco.org.
Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu.