Some Leadership Changes at DPR

December, 2015

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George Farnsworth and Donna Marciano, two long-time Department of Pesticide Regulation employees, have taken on new roles.

Over the summer George Farnsworth, DPRís former Enforcement Branch Manager, promoted to Associate Director of the Pesticide Programs Division. He now oversees four branches of DPR: Licensing, Product Compliance, Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement.

George Farnsworth

He also oversees the DPR's outreach to agricultural commissioners.

Farnsworth was promoted into the position in July, replacing Charles M. Andrews. Previously, he was Chief of the Pesticide Enforcement Branch.

He began his career with DPR in the 1990's and has built up a wealth of experience. Although he first started as a registration specialist with the Registration Branch he took a special assignment under the Assistant Director where he worked on projects including harmonization with U.S. EPA. He moved to the Pesticide Enforcement Branch and later became the first Chief of the Product Compliance Branch when those activities were split off from the Enforcement branch. Farnsworth also worked in DPR's Worker Health and Safety Branch where he managed the Pesticide Illness and Surveillance and Exposure Monitoring and Industrial Hygiene programs.

During his career, Farnsworth has overseen a number of initiatives, including the under-collection of mill assessment primarily from big-box stores, establishing pesticide container recycling requirements, and development of the California Pesticide Enforcement Activity Tracking System CalPEATS.

Farnsworth is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He holds a degree in Crop Sciences.

Prior to joining the state, he worked as a foreman for a rice grower in Grimes, California. He later worked for a pesticide application company, obtained his Pest Control Advisor license, and headed a division overseeing large-scale, commercial applications. After five years, he struck out on his own and later sold his business to his former employer.

In 1992, he joined the Yolo County Agricultural Commissioner's office as an agricultural biologist, inspecting pesticide applications to ensure they conformed to the law and providing training in pesticide use. He joined DPR a year later.

Donna Marciano

Farnsworth's replacement, Donna Marciano assumed her new position in August. She manages the Enforcement Branch of 62 employees who direct and oversees the County Agricultural Commissioner who carry out and enforce pesticide and environmental laws and regulations.

She was formerly manager of the Product Compliance Branch.

Marciano joined DPR in 2000 as a pesticide-use specialist in the Enforcement Branch. She has played a critical role in a number of high-profile investigations.

In 2004, she helped investigate an outbreak of infections at Bay Area nail salons linked to unsanitary foot spas - some cleaned with an unregistered and ineffective "sanitizer." Dozens of people suffered bacterial infections.

In 2003, her diligent efforts paid off as she helped to lead an investigation into unregistered, imported packages of "Advantage" and "Frontline" pet flea products. The sellers avoided registering the products in the U.S. and California to boost their profit margins. In many instances, the products were repackaged with false labels, and some lacked adequate instructions. As a result, some people could have misapplied the products and injured their pets. As a result of the DPR investigations, more than a dozen distributors of unregistered pet flea treatments have paid more than a million dollars in penalties.

Maricano and her Product Compliance Branch staff have also conducted investigations that have led to legal action against companies selling unregistered "anti-bacterial" cat litter, "anti-microbial" rubber cleaning gloves, and "anti-fungal" shower curtains.

"We look at the claims they are making and challenge the companies' claims," Marciano said. "They are misleading the consumer."

A graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and Marciano holds a bachelor's degree in natural resource management. Prior to joining DPR, she worked with the Sacramento Tree Foundation. Marcianoís family currently grows cherry and walnuts in Northern California.

For content questions, contact:
Craig Cassidy
Public Information Officer I
DPR Office of Communications
1001 I Street, P.O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
Phone: (916) 445-5815