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Forest Pest First detector workshop in Red Wing


By Jerrold Tesmer

Fri, Sep 7th, 2012
Posted in All Agriculture

Jerrold Tesmer, Extension Educator for Fillmore/Houston Counties

Minnesota is looking for volunteers to join the hundreds of citizens who already have stepped up to help keep an eye out for new infestations of emerald ash borer and other destructive invasive pests. These volunteer “first detectors” form part of the state’s early warning system for invasive tree pests, making it more likely that infestations will be found in early stages when they are easier to control.

With the threat posed to southeastern Minnesota by invasive species such as emerald ash borer, Oriental bittersweet and thousand cankers disease of walnut, the sponsoring agencies are hoping for a large turnout at the workshop.

Registration is now open for a Forest Pest First Detector workshop to be held on Tuesday, September 18 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. This workshop will be conducted by experts with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The session will provide in-depth information on identification of invasive tree pests. After completing the training, participants are qualified to serve as volunteers in the state’s First Detector Program. The role of these first detectors is to serve as public contacts for information about these pests and to help investigate reports of potential infestations.

“One key to slowing the spread of invasive pests is to find new infestations quickly,” U of M Extension Forester Angie Gupta said. “Many of the new infestations in Minnesota have been discovered by people like first detectors — informed citizens who know what to look for and who to call when they find something. The more help we have, the better our chances to contain infestations.”

Participants who complete the one-day sessions will become part of an award winning program. The Minnesota Forest Pest First Detector Program has been recognized by the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) for its outstanding training of volunteers. The NPDN is an internationally respected consortium of plant diagnostic laboratories from across the United States.

This Forest Pest First Detector training is scheduled for:

•September 18 – Red Wing – 8:00 a.m.to 3:00 p.m. - MN State College Southeast Technical. Room 314; Red Wing Campus, 308 Pioneer Rd, Red Wing, MN 55066

More details can be found online at http://www.myminnesotawoods.umn.edu/forest-pest-first-detector/.

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