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Southern Region School IPM Working Group History

Notes from First Meeting of the Southern Region School IPM Workgroup

On May 24 & 25, 2007, the first meeting of interested stakeholders from the southern region met to discuss school IPM. The majority of this group was from Cooperative Extension agencies across the south. The southern region encompasses states from Virginia to Florida to Oklahoma and Texas. The only two states not represented at this meeting were Mississippi and Virginia. Person’s present for this meeting was as follows:

Dale Pollett and Mary Grodner, LSU AgCenter; Fudd Graham and Vicky Burton, Auburn University; Gretchen Pettis and Paul Guillebeau, University of GA; Leslie Godfrey, Clemson DPR; John Hopkins, University of Arkansas; Jim Criswell, Oklahoma State; Steve Toth, N Carolina – IPM Center; William Witt, University of Kentucky; Godfrey Nalyanya, N. Carolina State; Karen Vail, University of Tennessee; Rebecca Baldwin and Faith Oi, University of Florida; Janet Hurley, Texas Cooperative Extension; Rosemary Hallberg and Jim VanKirk, SRIPM Center; and Tom Green, IPM Institute. This workgroup was established at the request of the Southern Region IPM Center. Almost every state in this region has a school IPM program, this group met to learn what each state’s efforts are directed to school IPM and also see if there is a need for further collaborations and how not recreate the same “wheel”.

The meeting began with a brief introduction by Jim VanKirk, SRIPM Center Director. Then each state in alphabetical order described what types of school IPM activities were being conducted in their area. Prior to the meeting each state was required to complete a report card on their school and child care IPM program, as well as a homework sheet that offered a chance for each state to catalog their specific activities. A separate report with each states report card and resource list will be sent with this file. Several states have been able to involve county agents in implementing and adopting school IPM workshops into their programs. Several of the states also have websites that disseminate information to school stakeholders in their states. Florida’s website is designed to be a clearing house of school IPM information; however, they are finding increase difficulty in obtaining funding to maintain this website. Of the states present only three have a formal law requiring schools to adopt IPM; those states are Louisiana, N. Carolina and Texas. Each of these laws was introduced after a misapplication of a pesticide was used on a school campus. Tennessee reported that a law has been proposed twice, but has not had success in passing the Legislature.

The next topic of discussion for the group was guest speaker Tom Green, IPM Institute. Dr. Green shared with the group the efforts of the institute to promote a wider adoption of IPM in all sensitive accounts, like hospitals in addition to schools and child care facilities. Dr. Green shared information about the lack of IPM programs in landscape or outdoor maintenance programs. Dr. Green also discussed the progression from IPM Star for pest control companies to the Green Shield Certification for PMPs. This new focus will allow companies that are doing IPM to be able to offer validation of their efforts to their customers.

Dr. Green then explained the national pest management strategic plan (PMSP) for school IPM. A stakeholder group consisting of members from Cooperative Extension, EPA, pest control, state regulatory and environmental groups have been working on the PMSP for close to a year. This group has been working on developing a list of priorities, acceptable practices and pesticide products to be used in and around schools. The overall goal of the group is to have all schools adopt IPM by 2015. The goal of the PMSP is to assist granting agencies and grant writers a list of national priorities so that everyone can work towards a common goal, rather than re-venting the wheel.

After a dinner break the group returned to discuss group priorities and the future direction of the meeting.

Jim VanKirk facilitated this session. Jim asked the group if they wanted to progress forward even if that meant no additional support our efforts, the group voted unanimously to keep moving forward as we all need assistance with our IPM efforts. Jim this asked the group to develop a mission statement, which was done. Under the PMSP for school IPM the national group has four focus areas they are Research, Education, Regulatory and Management. Prior to the reading of the national priorities the workgroup decided to list their own first. With the aid of Steve Toth and a flipchart, Jim began cataloging each topic’s priorities, the priorities were then voted on by the group to formulate high, medium and low priorities. See attached Final Priorities Document (PDF). The evening ended with a ranking of the research and education priorities.

The next morning the group finalized the priorities for regulatory and voted to adopt the National PMSP management priorities as they were similar to the ones suggested during the previous days meeting.

Jim VanKirk then redirected the meeting to more “local” needs. In our region there is a great wealth of information, but we also all have needs that could support our programs.

The general needs of the group are as follows:

  • Verifiable IPM training
  • Receive all of the newsletters that are being sent out – to receive newsletters send email to Janet or Rebecca to be added to list serve. Also can contact Dawn Gouge and Jennifer Snyder in AZ jsnyder@ag.arizona.edu to be included on their list serve
  • People to write articles for Texas and Florida newsletters
  • Training modules already packaged for school district employees – Florida website has a variety of power point presentations on the site. Texas has the ABC’s of IPM video series just reduced as they will be converted to DVD late 2007.
  • List of professional organizations associated with schools – will be listed in the PMSP but a good place to start is with local maintenance director with schools currently working with to gain entry into state associations.
  • Discussion/bulletin board where school level coordinators can talk among themselves (Center and Janet) – the idea for this is to have a place where school IPM Coordinators can come together to ask questions at their own pace.
  • Uniform, concise, pest-specific management plans – Florida and Alabama have eXtesnion project that will able to assist in achieving this goal. Once they have finalized the agreement they will be seeking input from this group to develop IPM plans for southern pests.

Jim then shared with the group funding opportunities.

  • IPM Enhancement program ($25,000 limit) RFA out early 2008, proposals due Feb/March. Work groups possibility
  • Small critical use grants ($5,000 and under typically)
  • Southern Region IPM grants – Research, extension, combination research/extension, evaluation
    • Extension only limited to $70,000
    • Evaluation limited to $100,000
    • RFA out October 1 and proposals due December 1
  • RAMP (Risk Avoidance and Mitigation Program): Megabucks. Multi-state, system approaches
  • EPA PESP: $52,000
  • Foundations
  • Local department of agriculture
  • Regional EPA offices

Composition of this group and where to we go from here.

As stated earlier the majority of this group participates were from Landgrant Institutions, also part of this group is the IPM Institute and SRIPM Center. We all agreed that we need to involve more stakeholders some suggested additions to the group were State Lead Agencies for pesticides (regulatory associates with ASPRO), members from the Western Region school IPM workgroup, School representatives (Association of School Business Officials International – www.asbointl.org, and National School Plant Management Association – www.nspma.com ), and regional EPA representatives.

The group stated that this would be more than enough to facilitate further progress to school IPM. As the goals develop further the group agreed that other interested stakeholders should be involved like State departments of health, education, private industry (PCO/NPMA), private school (NIPSA), and public interest groups

Final action items:

  • Report on this meeting – Janet
  • Post to mail list – Rebecca to organize/send a solicitation to the southern region listserv to have materials posted
  • Grant proposal for 2008 SRIPM for verifiable training / training manual / plan / materials – Faith, Karen, Godfrey, Fudd, Janet
  • Forum technology – Rosemary to look into, Janet to moderate
  • Another meeting – Breeze teleconference through UF, face-to-face next year, western region meeting in San Diego (ESA)
  • Selection of officers to keep continuity of group moving forward. Fudd Graham was elected as President/Chair and Janet Hurley was elected as Secretary.

The meeting was adjourned.

Items discussed but not placed into a specific category.

Ways to disseminate information:

  • Short training videos
    • Florida website has power points, plus Institutional IPM CD for specialized training
    • Texas – ABC’s of IPM Videos (going to DVD by 2008)
    • Nebraska has small vignettes – learning modules
    • Safer Pest Control Project has a video about IPM basics
    • Wisconsin Dept. of Ag offers short pesticide applicator training vignettes
  • Online discussion forums
    • Set as a need for the southern group
  • Management plans
    • Listed as a need for group, can find some plans on Florida’s website
  • School trade shows
    • Expensive for booth space but can help promote adoption of school IPM practices
  • Published articles in school magazines or related areas
  • Training for associated school personnel
    • Food service personnel contracted with companies like Aramark, Sodexho, etc.
    • Training for Registered Sanitarians – who inspect school cafeterias
    • Training for child care workers – part of state regulatory guidelines
    • School nurse association
  • Grassroots groups
    • Involving PTA/PTO
    • Environmental groups

Finally as I was searching for school IPM sites I came across the North Central IPM Center’s school IPM link http://www.ncpmc.org/school/resources.cfm