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Contest Spreads The Word About IPM

Do your friends and family applaud your priceless sense of humor? Or do they roll their eyes in complete denial of your talent? Either way, here”s your chance to show off your cleverness, wit, and knowledge of farming, and possibly win a cash prize.

Thirteen Wisconsin farm organizations, working together through the UW-Madison Pesticide Use and Risk Reduction (PURR) Project, are sponsoring a contest to spread the word about Integrated Pest Management, or IPM. IPM practices minimize the economic, health, and environmental risks of farming. Crop rotations, beneficial insects, and management-intensive rotational grazing are a few examples of IPM tools.

Remember the old Burma Shave signs? The PURR Project is using a similar strategy to get the word out about IPM. Last fall, farmers posted four different messages about their IPM practices along Wisconsin highways. Each five-line message is written on five consecutive signs. For example:

Sign #1: His neighbor”s eyes

Sign #2: Will bug out big

Sign #3: When they see his

Sign #4: Success with an

Sign #5: IPM gig!

Four messages are not enough! So sit down with your friends, grab a beverage of choice, create a new message or two, and enter them in the Think IPM contest. Four prizes of $200 each will be awarded to the top four entries. The winning entries will be displayed Burma Shave-style along Wisconsin roads and highways.

Each ditty submitted must fit onto five separate signs, with one line per sign. Each line must include no more than 18 characters, including spaces and punctuation. The messages must relate to IPM, and they should be funny.

The participating farm organizations have launched a new Web site – www.thinkipm.org – that can provide you with more information on IPM and inspiration for your ditty.

Submit as many entries as you wish, but write each entry on a separate 3×5 card. Put your name, address, phone number, and email address (if you have one) on one side of the card. The ditty goes on the other side of the card.

Entries will be judged by PURR Project partner organizations including the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Wisconsin Farmers Union, National Farmers Organization of Wisconsin, and several Wisconsin commodity groups.

Send your entries to: Think IPM, c/o the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1450 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706. Entries must be received by Friday, March 29, 2002.

If writing is not your thing, the PURR Project is also looking for farmers who would like to post these signs along their IPM-managed fields. If you are interested in posting a set of signs, or if you have questions about the contest, please contact Michelle Miller at (608) 262-7135 or info@thinkipm.org