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Obama to close IPM centers?

Dear Friend of IPM,


We are writing to update you on
the financial future of the Northeastern IPM Center. As you may know, we have
been federally funded for nearly a decade through a competitive USDA grant. The
president's budget for fiscal year 2011 does not include funds for Regional IPM
Centers or any of the other programs in a special USDA line known as "406
Integrated Programs." 

Additionally, the newly created
Agriculture Food and Research Initiative (AFRI; formerly NRI) recently announced
its grants program and the Requests for Applications make very limited
references to integrated pest management (see

http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/afri/afri.html
).

You have supported IPM in the
past and we value your commitment to integrated pest management in the region
and nationally. If you are in a position to voice your opinion about the benefit
of integrated pest management and the Northeastern IPM Center, we encourage you
to do so now.

For public employees,
scientists, university staff, Extension educators, and others:
Request that regional IPM
coordination and support, and specifically IPM Centers, be included in the next
AFRI RFA by writing to

RFP-OEP@nifa.usda.gov
. In
your comments, please specify the RFA to which you are responding (e.g., the
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Foundational Program RFA or any of
these other RFAs: Global Food Security, Sustainable Bioenergy, Food Safety, or
Climate Change). Talking points about the Northeastern IPM Center are below. We
also encourage you to forward this email to relevant networks, as
appropriate.

For those in private
industry, community members, growers, pest management consultants, members of
nonprofits, and others:
Express your views to your
elected representatives in Congress. Committees are meeting now. IPM Centers
could be funded either through a restoration of USDA's 406 Integrated Programs
line or through a specific category in AFRI. Below are talking points and
information about Congressional House and Senate Agriculture and Appropriation
Committees, respectively, including the websites where you may share comments.
Please also forward this email to your networks, as appropriate.

Our unique strengths have helped
us to nurture integrated pest management in the region and beyond. We would
welcome an opportunity to continue serving in this capacity.

Best
wishes,

Carrie Koplinka-Loehr,
Co-director

T A L K I N G   P O I N T
S
Northeastern IPM Center: Small Investment, Big Impacts
WHAT WE DO
o  Protect
food supplies and communities.
We stay in touch with people's needs and fund
30-40 IPM projects each year that focus on important pest problems.
o  Make the
most of public resources.
We help organizations to build on each others'
success. An independent review team found that IPM Centers show an impressive
use of limited resources to maximize output
of projects. In 2006 that review
team advised USDA to use IPM Centers as a model for future
programs.
o  Engage
partners.
We serve as a hub where growers, scientists, consumers, government
personnel, businesses, and environmental organizations can work together for
practices that reduce risks to the environment and human health.

KEY
ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Helping urban residents
combat pests.
We coordinate a national project to reduce pests in public
housing. With funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, we've
already taught 200 maintenance and property staff how to manage pests in and
around their buildings, and hundreds of tenants are receiving training as well
(see our video at

http://www.stoppests.org/for-residents.htm
). Collaborators on this project include
HUD, USDA, EPA, and nearly two dozen agencies and IPM
consultants.

Helping growers protect the
environment.
Our Center partnered with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation
Service to train nearly 400 growers, NRCS staff, and Extension educators in
practices that minimize environmental impacts and improve crop yield and
pest control (
http://northeastipm.org/nrcs.cfm). Farmers who attended the workshops plan
to increase their use of IPM and conservation practices.

Enhancing sustainability
in the marketplace.
We collaborate with industry to give IPM growers
improved access to markets. The Eco Apple working group helped to boost the
market for IPM-grown apples in New England, with sales in 2008 of $1.9 million
(
http://www.redtomato.org/ecoapple.php). We work with SYSCO, a worldwide food
distributor that has urged its suppliers to actively support more sustainable
environments in the production of food.
Sharing IPM knowledge with
the world:
nearly 3 million hits on our website since 2007.
Through

http://northeastipm.org/

we've reached more than 120,000 visitors. Our most popular tool? The IPM
Resources Database containing thousands of science-based IPM publications and
information sources.

Promoting sustainable
home landscapes.
The Northeastern Community IPM Working Group, funded for
years by our Center, focuses on growing green lawns with minimal pesticides. The
group placed 150 posters on Maryland buses and displayed landscape posters at
the U.S. Botanical Gardens in Washington, DC., where they reached nearly 100,000
visitors.

Connecting people who have
great ideas.
Our Center supports the International IPM Symposium with
planning, financial assistance, and facilitation. In 2009, more than 700 people
from nearly 30 countries attended this event, where they exchanged practical
tools and expertise. The Vegetable IPM Working Group, with funding from our
Center, awarded 20 IPM Travel Grants, reaching at least 5,000 stakeholders about
IPM practices.

More information
at

http://northeastipm.org/

House Agriculture Appropriations Committee members from the
Northeast:

Hon. Rosa DeLauro
(Chair)       CT     
http://delauro.house.gov/contact_form_email.cfm
Hon. Maurice Hinchey   
NY     
http://www.house.gov/hinchey/contact/

Senate Agriculture Appropriations
Committee members from the Northeast:
Hon. Jack Reed 
        RI     
http://reed.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm
Hon. Arlen Specter     
        PA     
http://specter.senate.gov/public/index.cfm
Hon. Susan Collins     
        ME     
http://collins.senate.gov/public/continue.cfm

Senate Agriculture Committee members
from the Northeast:
Hon. Patrick Leahy     
        VT     
http://leahy.senate.gov/contact/
Hon. Kirsten Gillibrand
NY     
http://gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/
Hon. Robert Casey, Jr. 
PA     
http://casey.senate.gov/contact/

House Agriculture Committee members from
the Northeast:
Hon. Tim Holden (Vice
chair)    PA     
http://holden.house.gov/
Hon. Glenn Thompson    
PA     
http://thompson.house.gov/contact/index.shtml
Hon. Kathleen
Dahlkemper        PA     
http://www.dahlkemper.house.gov/
Hon. Frank Kratovil    
        MD     
http://kratovil.house.gov/
Hon. Scott Murphy      
        NY     
http://scottmurphy.house.gov/

-- 

Posted by on April 19, 2010 at 12:11 pm, in the category Uncategorized.
Comments are off for this post

8 responses to “Obama to close IPM centers?”

  1. Elizabeth Stump says:

    Privatize, baby! When one is tethered to U.S. government grant dollars, one wastes a lot of time filling out paperwork and having your hands tied to obey U.S. gov’t “guidelines.”

    The Howard Hughes Medical Foundation is a private foundation that does medical research and all the researchers can tell you how much more freedom they have to do research and not bother wasting time applying for grants and bowing to gov’t regulations and all the paper work involved when one’s research is tied to public tax dollars.

    It’s at their foundation that the truly groundbreaking work is being done – not by scientists funded by the government. In fact, I bet that if the IPM Centers privatize and get grants through private businesses, they will be much more efficient. If what they do is so important, than they can get private business to subsidize their research and find value in their findings.

    I know I might sound cruel, but getting off the government’s teat will be better for them in the long run.

  2. veggiegirl says:

    Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, privatization saves everyone, banks love America, war is peace, blah blah fishcakes.

  3. Ali M says:

    “blah blah fishcakes”???? Now that phrase is going to be in my head all day long.

  4. Tibs says:

    There seems to be a wind of change at the ag deparment. Lots of long time funded things are going the way of the dodo.

  5. Loretta says:

    The government is running out of money. It’s less a plot against one faction of gardening (organics) or another (non-organics). Organic growers use IPM too. It’s money.

    I don’t like it either but spending must be cut.

    The Republican readers among us (of which I am not one) are getting what they have long asked for – spending cuts.

  6. Do you have a link to the Cornell information? I’ve looked through the information on the government site, but wondered if Cornell did a press release. I don’t live in the Northeast, but I’m fond of IPM and want to see for myself what’s up with this. Thanks!

  7. susan harris says:

    We got this emailed reply from carrie at the COrnell IPM Center:

    To answer your main question, IPM has many fans, but compared to the organic and sustainable movements, IPMers have never had a centralized advocacy group. Proponents tend to stick to the field, the classroom, and the lab; we’ve rarely had people on the hill stomping for IPM.

    This is beginning to change, however. Last year a group calling themselves “IPM VOICE” assembled to begin what could become a nonprofit to organize supporters and speak up for IPM. Is it too late? We sure hope not.

    As for the politics, I think many of the changes at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture are very good, but not all of the administrative personnel are in place yet. Regional IPM Centers, even though they rated extremely high in a review conducted by USDA, may have been caught in the shuffle of recreating the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative. In the past, USDA has been incredibly supportive of integrated pest management programs, including IPM Centers. Of course, we’d like to see this continue!

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