Exemplary Pesticide Programs
2009 Award Winners
On October 8, 2009, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the Virginia Pesticide Control Board recognized 20 Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and specialists for their outstanding participation in the pesticide container recycling program, the pesticide disposal program and pesticide safety education courses. The following agents were recognized for their outstanding performance during 2008 - 2009:
- Pesticide Container Recycling Program - The 2008 Plastic Pesticide Container Recycling award was given to Kelvin Wells, Extension Agent in Sussex County, for contributing approximately 1,700 pounds of the total 117,000 pounds of properly rinsed plastic pesticide containers and for possessing the many attributes that ensure a successful program. These attributes include flexibility, maintaining open communication with the project partners and exhibiting a high degree of professionalism throughout the process.
- Pesticide Disposal Program – For their combined efforts, the award for the 2008 Pesticide Disposal Program went to Extension agents Barry Robinson, Montgomery County; Jason Pratt, Pulaski County; and Jon Vest, Floyd County. The winning trio exhibited both cooperation and collaboration as they selected sites, notified agricultural producers and homeowners of the availability of the program and educated farmers and homeowners on proper storage and disposal of unwanted pesticides.
- Pesticide Safety Education
First Place: In recognition of their success educating farmers in the calibration and safe operation of pesticide application equipment, the first place award went to a team consisting of Extension agents Mike Parrish of Dinwiddie County and Kelvin Wells of Sussex County with Extension specialist Bobby Grisso from Virginia Tech. The team arranged for a suitable site and then brought in three spread trucks and two different sprayers that participants could review for safe operation and calibration. Attendees had the opportunity to handle calibration equipment and discuss tip choices as well as view sophisticated GPS systems. In addition to a discussion of the personal protection equipment needed when operating or calibrating such equipment, participants were also given tips on safe operation when operating on the highway between fields.
Second Place: The second place award recognized a team consisting of Rappahannock County Extension Agent Kenner Love; Extension Specialists Dr. Tony Wolf, Dr. Douglas Pfeiffer, Dr. Keith Yoder, Dr Rongcai Yuan, Dr. Chris Berg and Dr. Jeffrey Derr, Virginia Tech; along with fruit grower Lynn Graves, Graves Mountain Lodge, Syria; Ken Shaver, Virginia Employment Commission, Charlottesville; and Tommy Williams from the USDA-AMS Recordkeeping Program. This group of agents and specialists provided ongoing service to specialty growers in their area. In addition to a winter school for tree fruit growers, this group organized a series of ten fruit production programs at vineyards and orchards throughout the northern Piedmont during the fruit growing season. In addition to providing crop- and season-specific information, these meetings also gave the participants the opportunity to scout the crops at the host site along with Extension specialists and their peers in the grower community. By turning pest management and pesticide safety education into season-long activities these agents and specialists keep in close contact with the needs of their growers and the condition of their crops.
Third Place: The third place award went to agents of Planning District 11, Scott Baker, Bedford County; Bruce Jones, Appomattox County; Todd Scott, Campbell County; and Bill Seay, Amherst County. The team demonstrated a model execution of private applicator recertification: cooperation among multiple agents in the same planning district, scheduling four sessions at accessible locations in three of their four counties, choosing a variety of topics of interest to their audience and preparing a variety of teaching methods, from Power Point presentations and demonstrations to hands-on exercises.
Andres Alvarez, Director, VDACS Division of Consumer Protection, presented each agent with a commemorative plaque and a gift basket of Virginia's Finest products on behalf of the Virginia Pesticide Control Board.
This was the eleventh year for the recognition program. Extension agents or district directors, Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs personnel or Office of Pesticide Services investigators interested in nominating someone for a 2009-2010 award should contact VDACS' Office of Pesticide Services at 804.371.6558.
Source: VDACS News Release - Nov. 6, 2009 - Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804/786-7686
Editor’s note: High resolution photos are available for media use under "files" below. Please credit Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs.