Writer: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, email@example.com
LAS CRUCES - Identifying a plant disease is the first step to helping the plant back to health.
Master gardeners, pest control operators, agricultural producers and the general public will have the opportunity to become certified first detectors in a training being offered by New Mexico State University and the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center.
The four-hour workshop will be held from noon to 4 p.m Thursday, June. 5, at Hotel Encanto, 705 S. Telshor Blvd. in Las Cruces. Admission is free. The cost of the training, including lunch, is funded by an AgroGuard training grant awarded by the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
NMSU Extension plant pathologist Natalie Goldberg will teach the art and science of diagnosing plant disorders and how to submit samples to the plant diagnostic clinic at NMSU's College of Agriculture and Home Economics.
The workshop will also introduce the participants to the mission of the National Plant Diagnostic Network and the importance of first detectors. Upon completion of the training the participants will be certified first detectors and be part of the national registry of trained first detectors. They will receive network newsletters and pest alert information on significant pest outbreaks at both the regional and national level.
Goldberg's primary responsibilities at NMSU include statewide education programming in areas related to plant health management, crop biosecurity and she operates the plant diagnostic clinic. She also identifies new plant diseases in New Mexico, conducts applied research projects, writes education publications, which can be found on NMSU's Web site, and provides information to the public and to regional and national pest information databases on disease outbreaks in New Mexico.
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