Center director Deborah Grantham presented the award to Grant Nov. 7 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension luncheon.
The award, which will be given annually, recognizes those who exemplify the center’s mission to foster broader awareness and implementation of IPM, a science-based, least-risk approach to dealing with pests that is intended to maximize economic, environmental and human-health benefits.
Both the state program and regional IPM center are administratively housed within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, but they operate under separate scopes and functions. Grant has been with the state IPM program since 1989 and has served as its co-director/director since 2012.
Nominators highlighted Grant’s service on numerous committees and panels at state, regional, national and international levels; her successes as a researcher, educator and leader; and her strengths in building collaborative working relationships among diverse groups of stakeholders.
Grant helped lead a 20-year project at the famed Bethpage State Park Golf Courses on Long Island, her research demonstrating that IPM could effectively combat pests while reducing pesticide use, all while maintaining the courses’ high standard of turf quality. This research laid the groundwork for a broader extension and implementation effort.
Grant said her leadership approach comes from the holistic lens through which she views IPM.
“I always say that our staff comes in the door trained in an area of expertise – entomology, plant pathology, horticulture or wildlife biology – but they leave that hat at the door as we become well-rounded IPMers and work with the whole system,” she said.
Grant has won numerous awards, including an Excellence in IPM award in 1997. She is widely published and has held memberships in the Entomological Society of America and the New York State Turfgrass Association Educational Committee.
“Jennifer Grant is as deserving of our inaugural Outstanding Achievements in IPM Award as any professional in the field,” Grantham said. “[H]er pioneering long-term work in turfgrass IPM has truly advanced the field, demonstrating how affordability, sustainability and effectiveness can happily coexist, which is a key goal of integrated pest management.”
Grant emphasizes collaboration and relationship-building as foundational to what she has been able to achieve throughout her career.
“The work we do as a program is all about partnerships,” she said. “I am lucky to lead a group of talented people and work with our multitude of partners to further our mission.”
Mike Webb is the communication specialist at the Northeastern Integrated Pest Management Center.
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