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NMSU to hold plant disease, pest first-detector training in Albuquerque area

ALBUQUERQUE - New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service is offering a first detector training course to help anyone interested in plants detect pest and disease outbreaks.


Two sessions will be offered in the Albuquerque area on Tuesday, June 2, at the Albuquerque Garden Center, 10120 Lomas Blvd. NE, and Thursday, June 3, at San Ysidro Church Hendren Hall, 5015 Corrales Road in Corrales. The four-hour first detector training will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon, with a two-hour continuing education course from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch will be free for those who register online at http://cbc.at.ufl.edu.

"This training is important not only for professionals but homeowners who work with plants and plant material on a consistent basis," said Jason French, NMSU plant diagnostic clinic and training coordinator of the course, which is designed for Master Gardeners, pest control operators, agriculture producers and the general public.

"This training is part of the National Plant Diagnostic Network's education and training program. Participants who attend the training will become certified first detectors and added to a national registry of trained first detectors," said Natalie Goldberg, NMSU extension plant pathologist, who will teach the art and science of diagnosing plant disorders, high-risk diseases and how to submit samples to NMSU's plant diagnostic clinic.

Current certified first detectors will have the opportunity to participate in continuing education courses in the afternoon session on high risk/exotic weed and arthropod pests.

The cost of the training is funded by New Mexico State University, the National Plant Diagnostic Network, the Western Plant Diagnostic Network, the Southwest Border Food Safety and Defense Center and Agroguard, a program of the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

For more information contact French at jfrench@nmsu.edu or (575) 646-1965.