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Center for Integrated Ag Systems selected as a Pesticide Reduction Champion

The UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems has been selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program Champion for 2003. This designation honors CIAS for its efforts to reduce pesticide risk through sustainable agricultural practices such as Integrated Pest Management and organic farming.

CIAS was recognized for creating workshops and publications on the Food Quality Protection Act, pesticide reduction, pasture-based animal production, and low-input market gardening. The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy Farmers and Market Growers were both applauded for helping new farmers reduce or eliminate pesticide use.

PESP also commended CIAS activities that develop new markets for agricultural products raised in ways that protect the environment and human health. One such activity, the College Food Project, has brought food grown locally with few or no pesticides to the UW-Madison dining halls. CIAS is also working with Wisconsin apple growers and campus researchers to document ecologically sound apple production.

“Since 1989, CIAS has worked with researchers and Extension agents statewide to investigate and promote pesticide-reducing strategies for dairy, livestock, produce and grain farmers,” said CIAS director Brent McCown. “We are honored that the EPA has recognized our national leadership in pesticide reduction research and outreach.”

More than 50 UW-Madison campus partners work with the Center on pesticide reduction. Among the leaders are Chris Boerboom and Bryan Jensen, Agronomy; Karen Delahaut, Horticulture; Jeff Wyman and Dan Mahr, Entomology; Walt Stevenson and Patty McManus, Plant Pathology; Bob Fessenden, UW Food Service; Dave Combs, Dairy Science; the Nutrient and Pest Management Program staff members; and others.

CIAS is one of 16 PESP Champions selected nationwide for their extraordinary level of commitment to protecting human health and the environment. For more information, visit the PESP web site.