Citing the synergy of their respective missions and a rich history of collaboration, New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYSIPM) Director Alejandro Calixto has announced that Cornell Cooperative Extension’s nationally recognized Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) is now integrating with NYSIPM.
“For decades, the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program and PSEP have worked in tandem to provide strategies to manage pests that reduce risks to consumers, pesticide applicators, and the environment,” Calixto said. “We are excited to enhance our collective impact by expanding the reach of our individual programs to benefit all New Yorkers.”
PSEP is a federally mandated program providing pesticide certification and training throughout New York. The program develops Pesticide Applicator Certification Training Manuals, delivers in-person, webinar and distance learning recertification courses to New York’s more than 25,000 certified pest applicators through its Distance Learning Center, reviews and publishes the Cornell Crop and Pest Management Guidelines and serves as an unbiased source of pesticide information for applicators, researchers and the general public. It currently employs six extension specialists and support staff.
According to Jenny Kao-Kniffin, interim director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, formalizing the partnership between NYSIPM and PSEP will make essential information about safely and sustainably managing pests more accessible to New Yorkers.
"Pesticide safety education is integral to sound integrated pest management strategies. The innovations in pesticides, including biopesticides, organic pesticides and antimicrobials, and their application technologies, are continuously evolving and require us to seek novel ways of informing the public. We are excited about the synergies between the two organizations that will benefit New Yorkers facing greater challenges in managing new and persistent pests. This union is about better empowering people to be more informed decision-makers."
NYSIPM’s 25-employee team develops sustainable ways to manage pests on farms, schools, homes and in communities through outreach and education, digital decision-making support, cutting-edge research and robust extension.
Calixto said he anticipates a “seamless integration” and is confident that both programs will grow and thrive under the new structure. Mike Helms, longtime extension educator for PSEP, has been promoted to team leader and will be instrumental in the transition period and beyond.
“I believe this move will inspire ideas, energize our staff and most importantly, maximize funding by reducing administrative costs. allowing us to allocate more resources to essential extension, outreach and research efforts,” Calixto said.
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