Online Submission of Poster Abstracts Deadline Approaches

Use this opportunity to share your integrated pest management (IPM) work. Submit a poster abstract by Nov. 13 for the 9th International IPM Symposium that will be held March 19–22, 2018, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Poster abstracts should be submitted online at for full consideration. The abstract must contain an accurate summary of the work and be clear and concise. Instructions for abstract submissions can be found on the Poster web site.

Posters will be organized by division: Fruit, Nut and Orchard Crops; Rangeland, Livestock, and Pastures; Field Crops; Specialty Crops (Nursery, Greenhouse, Hydroponic, Landscape, Turf and Sod); Medical, Veterinary and Urban; Vegetable Crops; Other (Wildland and Natural Landscapes, Forestry, etc.); Cross-disciplinary (involving or relevant to two or more environments).

New this year is the Student Poster Awards category. Student project poster submissions will be entered into the IPM Inspiration Award competition. Contact Michelle Marquart, Symposium Coordinator, at to learn more about attending, exhibiting at or contributing to the Symposium.

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Xerces Society seeks Pollinator Conservation Specialist / Agronomist

Pollinator Conservation Specialist / Agronomist

      • Location: Preference is to locate this position at a home office in Minnesota or North Dakota. For the right candidate, we may consider additional location options.
      • Start Date: Hiring preference will go to candidates available to start in early to mid-January; some flexibility of start date exists.
    • The Xerces Society manages the largest and most advanced pollinator conservation program in the world and we offer unparalleled career opportunities for participating in some of the most cutting-edge wildlife conservation happening today.

Reporting to the Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Program Co-Director (Eric Lee-Mäder), and in collaboration with private sector partners, the Pollinator Conservation Specialist / Agronomist will:

• Coordinate day to day operations of pollinator habitat enhancement and establishment across thousands of acres of farmland in the Upper Midwest, Northern Plains, and Prairie Provinces of Canada

• Develop and consistently improve habitat establishment methodology in pasture and cropland settings

• Provide regular habitat restoration technical support to other farmers, partner organizations, and other Xerces staff

• Build and maintain positive working relationships with farmers including remote technical assistance and encouragement to ensure successful project completion

• Source plant materials for habitat projects in both the U.S. and Canada

• Collaboration with grain processors and conservation agencies including the USDA-NRCS and Canadian Conservation Districts to recruit farmers for pollinator habitat establishment

• Foster excellent relationships with seed industry partners and suppliers

• Support Xerces’ partners with science-based advice and consulting on restoration practice, seed sourcing and other aspects of habitat restoration

More information: Pollinator Specialist Agronomist

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FDA, USDA, and EPA to Hold Public Sessions on Agricultural Biotechnology

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs will be holding two public meetings to discuss FDA’s Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach Initiative. This initiative calls for FDA to work with EPA and USDA to provide education and outreach to the public on agricultural biotechnology and food and animal feed ingredients derived from biotechnology. The purpose of the meetings is to provide the public an opportunity to share information, experiences, and suggestions to help inform the development of this education and outreach initiative.

The FDA is also accepting public comments on questions listed in the Federal Register Notice. Comments may be submitted through November 17, 2017.

Participation is available in person or by webcast. The public meetings will be held on:

Nov.7, 2017 – The Omni Charlotte, 132 East Trade St., Charlotte, NC 28202

  • October 30, 2017: Deadline for advance registration

Nov. 14, 2017 – The San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 780 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103

  • Oct. 27, 2017: Deadline to request special accommodation due to a disability
  • Oct.27, 2017: Deadline to submit requests to make oral presentations
  • Nov. 6, 2017: Deadline for advance registration

Please use the following links to view associated documents, register to attend, and submit a public comment:


Federal Register Notice

Make a Public Comment (Submit on or before November 17, 2017)

Agricultural Biotechnology Education and Outreach Initiative

Appropriations Language on the Initiative

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USAID’s Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research

NIFA has participated in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Program since 2014. PEER is a competitive grants program that invites scientists in developing countries, partnered with U.S. government-supported collaborators, to apply for USAID funding to support research and capacity-building activities on topics with strong potential development impacts. U.S. researchers with eligible NIFA awards may opt to partner with developing country scientists who seek USAID funding.

Research proposals submitted under the Open Call may address a variety of topics, including: biodiversity, agriculture, environment, climate change, clean energy, disaster mitigation, food security, water/sanitation, urbanization, democracy and governance, and education. Current NIFA awardees with expertise in these subject areas are eligible to serve as partners on PEER pre-proposals. There are also regional or country-specific calls.
PEER is currently accepting pre-proposals with a deadline of Jan. 12, 2018. In order for a PEER pre-proposal to be eligible for review, the NIFA-supported partner’s award must remain active for at least 12 months after the expected start date of the PEER project (which may start no earlier than Sept. 1, 2018) to ensure that both sides have resources available to support their collaboration. For more program information visit NIFA’s PEER webpage and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine website for PEER.

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USDA Strengthens Agricultural Sciences at Hispanic-Serving Institutions to Cultivate Future Scientists and Leaders

USDA Strengthens Agricultural Sciences at Hispanic-Serving Institutions to Cultivate Future Scientists and Leaders

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to support agricultural science education at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). These grants will strengthen the ability of the institutions to carry out education, applied research, and related community development programs.
“These grants highlight NIFA’s commitment to Hispanic-Serving Institutions by cultivating future scientists and leaders,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Such investments will ensure a diverse professional workforce in the food, agricultural, natural resource, and human sciences.”

The Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Education Grants Program promotes and strengthens efforts to attract, retain, and graduate outstanding students capable of enhancing the nation’s food, agricultural, natural resource, and human sciences work force. HSIs are colleges and universities that have an enrollment of at least 25 percent Hispanic students. Currently, some 472 HSIs are located in 21 states and Puerto Rico serving more than 3.15 million students.

In fiscal year 2017, 12 grants totaling $2.8 million were awarded. They include:
• California State University-Northridge, Northridge, California, $250,000
• San Diego State University, San Diego, California, $250,000
• University of California-Merced, Merced, California, $250,000
• University of California-Riverside, Riverside, California, $250,000
• University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, $250,00
• University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico, $250,000
• University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico, $250,000
• Texas A&M Kingsville, Kingsville, Texas, $275,000
• Texas A&M Kingsville, Kingsville, Texas, $231,000
• Austin Community College District, Austin, Texas, $250,000
• Lee College District, Baytown, Texas, $250,000
• Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas, $50,000

Among the projects, students at San Diego State University will learn innovative solutions to food production by integrating indigenous farming knowledge with modern agricultural methods. Austin Community College will develop new associate degrees in sustainable agriculture to increase access to agricultural sciences careers for underrepresented students in Central Texas. Project details can be found at the NIFA website.
Previously funded projects include New Mexico State University’s Southwest Natural Resource Career Track program, which is providing pathways workshops, leadership classes, and community outreach to its students. The program has facilitated 32 undergraduate summer internships and reached more than 1,500 high school and community college students at 14 recruiting events. Among the NRCT participants, Marc Estrada took an undergraduate summer training experience as a forestry technician with the USDA Forest Service out of Reserve, New Mexico, and is now employed as a forester with USDA Forest Service in Gila National Forest. Through the NCRT program, Antonio Garcia participated in a Forest Service internship and was later hired as a volunteer and partnership manager with the USDA Forest Service at Cibola National Forest. The STEP UP to USDA Career Success at Texas A&M University-Kingsville has given students an opportunity to pursue STEM degrees and careers in the agricultural workforce. More than 200 students have participated in the program, which introduces them to various agricultural disciplines and prepares them for USDA internships.

NIFA’s mission is to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges. NIFA’s investments in transformative science directly support the long-term prosperity and global preeminence of U.S. agriculture. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural sciences, visit, sign up for updates, and follow us on Twitter @USDA_NIFA, #NIFAImpacts.
USDA is an equal opportunity lender, provider, and employer.


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Scientists seek public assistance in tackling rose rosette disease

 From IPM in the South

By Rosemary Hallberg

by Kathleen Phillips, Texas A&M AgriLife

Halfway through a five-year, $4.6 million grant to combat rose rosette disease in the U.S., the national research team studying it is encouraged by the amount of information learned but admits having a way to go before finding how to overcome the deadly problem.

Rose rosette was observed on wild roses as early as the 1940s, but it was not until 2011 that scientists definitively identified the cause as being from a new virus in the novel genus Emaravirus transmitted by the microscopic eriophyid mite, according to Dr. David Byrne. Now the virus is killing commercial rose varieties.

Symptoms, which can show up as early as 17 days from exposure to infected mites or as many as 279 days after, include “witches’ brooms, excessive thorniness, enlarged canes, malformed leaves and flowers.” Ultimately, the rose plant dies.

The team is pursuing three issues: the virus, the mite and rose plant resistance to the disease, according to Byrne, professor of Rosa and Prunus Breeding and Genetics for Texas A&M AgriLife Research, College Station, and Rose Rosette Disease Project director. And now they are soliciting help from people who like to grow roses as well.

“It is a citizen scientist approach,” said  Dr. Kevin Ong, team member and director of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab in College Station. “We are trying to engage the people who have an interest in roses in general and give them the opportunity to participate in a national research project.”

Because of the many components to the problem, the research team represents not only many states but a variety of expertise from entomology to pathology to plant breeding.

“We’re still learning about the mite and the virus,” Byrne said. “And now we are seeing rose rosette not only on multiflora (wild) roses, which are considered invasive, but also on commercially cultivated roses.”

Because of that, researchers now consider all roses susceptible to the disease until proven otherwise. That calls for a massive monitoring effort, he said.

“The main purpose of monitoring is to try to gather information to identify sources of resistance or tolerance,” Byrne said. “It’s been somewhat frustrating from a breeding point of view because it takes two or three years to determine if something is resistant.”

He said as the national research project begins its fourth year, the field trials planted the first year are just now providing data that could lead to developing resistant varieties.

“We’re up to about 500 different roses planted for evaluation, and I also have collected data on probably close to 700 already. The vast majority are susceptible,” Byrne said. “We’re in the verification mode now, because some varieties that had been thought to be resistant are turning out to be susceptible.”

The researchers are turning to molecular techniques to develop markers to use in the analysis for marker-assisted selection for breeding, which theoretically can decrease the breeding cycle by half, he said.

“What’s more important is we can decrease by 80 percent the number of plants we have to put out in the field,” he said. “That is a huge saving and potentially will allow us to look at more seedlings, which will accelerate the breeding process as well.”

Meanwhile, other team members on the national project, which was funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant, are turning to rose enthusiasts to help monitor and validate reports of the disease across the U.S.

“There is a need for development of new detection methods, so as our research collaborators develop new detection methods, we test them on real samples to make sure they work in the real world,” Ong said. The methods are also validated at an Oklahoma State University lab.

Ong said his role on the project is also to educate the public about the disease, which will help monitor its location, so his team created a website,, as a clearinghouse for information.

“The website also is a portal so that people can take pictures and submit them into the database. A verifier on the team looks at the photo to determine whether the plant depicted has rose rosette,” Ong said.

The site is designed for mobile phones or tablets so a person can easily take a picture while looking at the plant, he said.

“When a picture is submitted, the site captures the location and a verifier is notified to make a decision about the image,” Ong explained. “Yes, it is rose rosette; no, it is not rose rosette; or we are not sure or we would like to get more information or a sample. Those are the three possible answers.”

Verifiers can ask for a physical sample for confirmation, if necessary, he said. All images are maintained in the online database for future reference by variety to help researchers and the public document which have been proven susceptible.

To help people learn what to look for, Ong published a series of factsheets available at Several other affected states also have information linked on the rose rosette website.

The team also is trying to develop better tools to detect the virus and presence of the mite.  

To track the mite, all the reports of rose rosette have been put on a map to get a sense of the mite’s distribution and movement, Byrne said. Researchers know that the microscopic mite travels in the wind and has been known to move 300 feet a year. There appears to be a northern and a southern range, which in Texas is roughly at Interstate 20, below which cases of rose rosette are rare.

“In the last two or three years, we have confirmed it in some Texas counties south of I-20, but it might’ve just been brought in from somewhere,” Ong said.

The researchers said people can look at rose plants now as new growth and flowering often occurs in early fall, but late-spring examinations are ideal for finding signs of rose rosette.

“It’s been exciting to see this national effort come together,” Byrne said. “We are trying to understand the epidemiology and environmental factors of the disease development and spread. Hopefully, we will have even more information by the end of this year.”

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NCR-SARE Seeks Nominations for Administrative Council Members

The North Central Region – Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) is seeking nominees* for the following seats on its Administrative Council as follows:

• At-large representative of an agriculture college or university**
• Non-profit organization representative from a non-profit with demonstrable expertise on sustainable agriculture
• Representative of agribusiness
* Council members must live and work in one of the 12 states that comprise the North Central SARE region. Those states are IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, and WI.
**The at-large representative of an agriculture college or university can be primarily a researcher or educator.

NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council represents various agricultural sectors, states, and organizations. It sets program priorities and makes granting decisions for the region. A collection of farm and non-farm residents, the Administrative Council includes a diverse mix of agricultural stakeholders in our 12 states. Council members come from regional farms and ranches, university extension and research programs, and nonprofits. In addition, the Administrative Council includes regional representatives of the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, state agencies, and agribusinesses.

The term for each of these SARE Administrative Council slots is three years, with the first meeting for new Council members being July 10-12, 2018. Council members attend two meetings a year, typically 2-3 day meetings in July and February at various Midwest locations, and also participate in a few conference calls each year. Travel expenses are fully covered for travel to Administrative Council meetings. Nominees should have a basic understanding of sustainable agriculture and be comfortable with reviewing grant proposals and participating in a group decision-making process. More information about NCR-SARE and the Administrative Council is online at

Please note that members of the Administrative Council are not eligible to apply for SARE funding during their time on the Administrative Council.

To nominate yourself for a seat on the NCR-SARE Administrative Council, submit the following information using our online form by December 5th, 2017.
• the nominee’s areas of interest or focus in sustainable agriculture
• why the nominee is interested in serving on NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council
• the nominee’s experience, affiliations and/or qualifications
To nominate someone else for a seat on the NCR-SARE Administrative Council, please email the name and contact information for the nominee to Jean Andreasen at and she will contact them to solicit an application.

Nominations should be submitted online. We will acknowledge receipt of the materials and send a reply regarding the outcome of the election by late February 2018.

NCR-SARE is one of four regional offices that run the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, a nationwide grants and education program to advance sustainable innovation to American agriculture. Since 1988, NCR-SARE has awarded more than $50 million worth of competitive grants to farmers and ranchers, researchers, educators, public and private institutions, nonprofit groups, and others exploring sustainable agriculture in 12 states. The SARE program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA).

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USDA Invests in a More Diverse Agricultural Science Workforce

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to increase women and minority representation in the agricultural science workforce. Funding is made through NIFA’s Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS).

“America’s human capital is our greatest resource,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments are helping introduce more women and minorities to the agricultural sciences so they might contribute to future agricultural science innovations.” 

The Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Fields Program supports research and extension activities to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas who will pursue and complete postsecondary degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

In fiscal year 2017, four grants totaling more than $378,000 were made to WAMS projects. They are:

  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, $95,447
  • Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, $94,378
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, $94,387
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, $94,388

The University of Florida will bring mentors to community settings to introduce rural, minority youth to STEM career opportunities. A Montana State University project will introduce female students to agricultural science career opportunities through an online course, internships, networking, and a public summit. More information on these grants is available on the NIFA website.

Past WAMS projects include a Purdue University mentoring program for women and minority graduate students in the College of Agriculture. A Tarleton State University project recruited women and minority students and offered them research and training opportunities in the animal and food sciences.

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Longwood Gardens seeks Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Technician

Full Time Integrated Pest Management Technician 

Longwood Gardens in the living legacy of Pierre S. du Pont, inspiring people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education, and the arts. Our values of excellence, professional leadership, fiscal alignment, stewardship, and community engagement are the principles that guide our priorities, behavior, and decision making.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct large tree sprays and other pesticide applications throughout the
  • Helps to train and direct IPM personnel: staff, students, volunteers, and contractors
  • Assists the IPM specialist by scouting for and monitoring pest populations and evaluating cultural, biological, mechanical, and chemical control strategies to reduce pests to tolerable
  • Safe operation and maintenance of all IPM sprayers and
  • Assists with the management of all aspects of Longwood Gardens’ pesticide safety program.


  • Minimum of an associate’s degree in entomology, plant pathology, or horticulture equivalent with two years experience working in landscape and/or greenhouse horticulture with special emphasis in pest management scouting, diagnosis, and treatment to a variety of ornamental
  • Must obtain a commercial driver’s license – Class B within 6 months of
  • Aerial lift, tractor, and forklift experience a plus
  • Must obtain a PA Pesticide applicator’s license – categories 06 (landscape and ornamental), 09 (aquatics), 10 (right of way/weeds), 23 (parks/schools)
  • Good time management, organizational, and observation skills with strong attention to detail.
  • Experience maintaining small engines and operating spray equipment
  • Fluent with Microsoft office and strong communication skills with the ability to present to diverse
  • Must be able to effectively communicate with greenhouse growers, gardeners, and guests.

Salary: Salary is commensurate with education and experience for this full-time, permanent position. Incumbent will have the opportunity to participate in Longwood’s comprehensive and competitive benefit programs.

To Apply: Search will continue until a suitable candidate is found. For full consideration, send a letter addressing pertinent qualifications, curriculum vitae or resume; and names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references to: Longwood Gardens, Inc., Attn: Human Resources, PO Box 501, Kennett Square, PA 19348-0501. Fax (610) 388-5495; or e-mail – To find out more about job opportunities at Longwood Gardens please refer to our website


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APS webinars announced

Fieldside Manner: Serving Plant Pathology’s Stakeholders—Part 2
Oct. 25, 2017 | 11:30 a.m. CDT

Tapping into
Growers’ Expertise:
Engaging in Extension
Dr. Lindsey du Toit
Washington State University,
Mount Vernon NWREC

Have I told You
About the Time…:
Communicating “Plant Pathology” to
Diverse Audiences in Academia
Dr. James Bradeen
University of Minnesota

Think Locally, Act Globally:
Meeting Stakeholders’
Needs in Developing Countries
Dr. Anna Testen
The Ohio State University
FREE for APS Members | $49 for non-members
Just as doctors must have good bedside manner when dealing with patients, plant pathologists must be mindful of their “fieldside manner” when dealing with diverse stakeholder groups, ranging from growers to politicians. Plant pathologists have many opportunities to foster relationships and understanding with these individuals. These relationships are necessary to take our science to practice. Speakers will share their experiences and advice on effectively communicating and interacting with stakeholders.

This new APS webinar is ideal for our members and allied plant health professionals within the United States and internationally at all stages of their careers, especially those in the early and mid-career stages.


Show Me the Money: Effective Granstmanship in an Era of
Growing Competitiveness

Dec. 13, 2017 | 11:30 a.m. CDT

Dr. Marty Draper
Professor and Head,
Department of Plant Pathology,
Kansas State University
Former National Plant Pathology Program Leader, NIFA


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