Friday, November 6, 2009

Countdown to School IPM Conference

The Embassy Suites-San Marcos is a wonderful conference facilityI just have to brag on the new Texas group, Texas Integrated Pest Management Affiliates for Public Schools (TIPMAPS). The group is so new it doesn't have a web page yet, but this hasn't kept these folks from getting over 10% of the school districts in the state to register for a first-of-its-kind conference on IPM, to be held at the Embassy Suites in San Marcos, TX on November 18 and 19.

As the newest affiliate chapter of the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO), TIPMAPS is a fledgling group. The conference is their first open event and will focus on a variety of pest management issues facing school IPM coordinators. The concept of an association for school maintenance officials with pest control duties is novel and sets the bar for other states wanting to see IPM take root in their public school districts.

I've just been looking through the list of badges for the meeting and I count 107 different public school districts represented among the approximately 180 early registrants. This represents more than 10% of the approximately 1030 school districts in the second largest state public school system in the nation.

Speakers for the meeting will include some of the state's own school IPM coordinators, along with speakers from industry and the Extension Service. The highlighted speaker for the conference is Dr. Bobby Corrigan, or Dr. Rat, as he's known in New York City where he oversees one of the largest rodent IPM programs in the world.

The last day of the conference will include an organizational meeting to discuss membership dues and formation of regional chapters. Online registration is now closed, but it's not to late to attend. On-site registration will be available for $100. To see a schedule and map to the conference hotel in San Marcos, go to the Texas AgriLife Conference Service website.

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