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The 1999 IPM Innovators Awards

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The 1999 Awardees are:

Aquatic Outreach Institute (AOI), Richmond, develops and manages educational and outreach programs for creeks, wetlands, and watersheds in the San Francisco Bay Area. Primarily funded by local cities and counties, AOI's programs provide thousands of educators, schoolchildren, and the public with information about aquatic resources, IPM, and proper pesticide disposal. AOI conducts most of its programs in the train-the-trainer style, focusing on kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers. Specific programs include the popular Kids in Gardens: A Pesticide Reduction Program, now in its third year. Taught to teachers, this program emphasizes IPM. The teachers then convey information to their students on insect ecology, pest management, beneficial insects and insectary plants, native plants (which are relatively pest free), and urban runoff pollution. Many AOI programs focus on creek pollution that results from urban pesticide runoff. Another program, Watching Our Watersheds: Reducing Pollution through Creek and Gardening Projects helps educators working in low-income areas. Media contact: Kathy Kramer (510) 231-9507.

Association of Applied Insect Ecologists (AAIE), Sacramento, is a nonprofit organization of pest control advisors, researchers, and others dedicated to controlling agricultural, landscape, and structural pests through IPM. Created in 1967, the association advocated IPM approaches long before they became popular. Its 200-plus members play a critical role in research, demonstration, and adoption of IPM for a variety of crops and in urban settings in California. AAIE sponsors annual meetings, regional breakfast meetings, workshops, roundtable discussions, and training programs. AAIE's Web site (www.aaie.com) provides links to other IPM sites. The organization produces economic studies, publications, and films in support of IPM, and continues to exchange information and expand knowledge of applied pest ecology and reduced-risk, cost-effective pest management options. Because of its focus on IPM, AAIE stands apart from other professional societies. Media contact: John Plain (916) 441-5224

Benziger Family Winery, Glen Ellen, is a grape-growing and wine-producing family business set up as a partnership with all seven family members working together. The Benzigers produce estate wine from their own grapes and purchase grapes from more than 60 growers for other wine labels. Many of their reduced-risk practices are based on biodynamic principles and include farming without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, using compost mixtures, and planting cover crops. They develop habitat areas in and around vineyards to build diversity, and prune to manage diseases. On-site plantings enable the winery to attract and conserve beneficial organisms, natural enemies of pests. The Benzigers actively educate their employees, growers, and the public about their IPM practices. They hold bimonthly viticulture classes for their employees and quarterly seminars on low-input farming practices for their growers. The winery gives daily public tours that demonstrate their IPM practices, focusing on natural and low-input practices of grape growing. The winery shows strong IPM leadership in the wine grape industry. Media contact: Chris Benziger (707) 935-4503

California Prune Board, Pleasanton, a state marketing order representing California's prune growers and packers, has supported prune IPM research for 20 years. The board was an original supporter of the Biological Prune Systems (BPS) project, initiated in 1996. BPS growers experimented with cover crops, hedgerow plantings and vegetative buffer strips, and eliminated the use of diazinon as a dormant spray by the project's third year. In 1998 the Board assume management of BPS and began supporting the University of California Environmentally Sound Prune Systems project, patterned after BPS, but with a UC research focus. Currently, the board oversees both projects under the Prune Pest Management Alliance. There are 22 demonstration orchards in the two projects, comparing conventional and reduced-risk programs. The board provides information on reduced-risk practices at grower field days and through newsletters. Media contact: Gary Obenauf (559) 447-2127.

Central Contra Costa Sanitary District ("Central San"), Martinez, is a wastewater treatment agency that encourages the public to adopt IPM practices to reduce the risks of pesticide use, enhance local water quality, and reduce pesticides in wastewater. In partnership with the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and 13 stores that sell pesticides, Central San began train-the-trainer IPM workshops for Master Gardeners. The Master Gardeners in turn held more than 20 IPM workshops for the public. Central San prepared and distributed consumer fact sheets on such topics as alternative pest,management for ants and fleas and proper pesticide disposal. To encourage other agencies to share their IPM information, Central San wrote a how-to guidebook and hosted a how-to workshop. The District has shown exceptional leadership in pollution prevention, inspiring the formation of at least nine other IPM partnerships. Rather than focus only on proper pesticide disposal, Central San was the first wastewater treatment agency in California to take a preventive approach and promote IPM as a means to reduce pesticides in wastewater. Media contact: Paul Morsen (925) 229-7305.

LangeTwins, Inc., Acampo, is a partnership of brothers Randall and Brad Lange, who grow grapes for wineries and manage vineyards for others. Their corporation, created in 1979, started with about 300 acres. Today they own or manage more than 5,000 acres of vineyards. Working with an independent pest control advisor, they monitor for insects; use drip irrigation systems that allow them to spoon-feed stressed vines; manage the leaf canopy (such as pulling leaves to allow air circulation, thus reducing disease and the need for fungicides); plant cover crops that help aerate the soil, attract beneficial insects, and create refuges for birds and snakes; select trellis systems to achieve optimum vine balance and health; and use electrostatic sprayers to apply pesticides more precisely. The Lange vineyards are often sites for research on alternative practices. The Langes volunteered their vineyards for the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission BIFS demonstration project and routinely hosted half-day grower meetings and field days during the three-year project. LangeTwins, Inc., is an excellent example of an IPM Innovator because of its commitment to IPM practices and its demonstrated leadership and outreach. Media contact: Susan Lange (209) 339-4055.

Pebble Beach Company, Pebble Beach, is a multi-facility recreational company in the Monterey Bay area that includes five golf courses, the 17-Mile Drive, and parts of the Del Monte Forest. In 1993, the company established its Resource Management Division to oversee and guide golf course and forestry operations. Since then, the division has expanded to include all facets of natural resources management within Del Monte Forest. The company conducts turfgrass, pesticide, irrigation, and maintenance equipment trials. It has researched treatments for pitch canker disease, and the uses of prescribed burns and mechanical tilling for forest regeneration. In the Del Monte Forest, the company weeds selectively by hand and uses goats for brush control. On its golf courses, to control English daisy, Pebble Beach uses plugging on the greens and spot spraying and hand pulling on the fairways. Grass varieties are selected according to disease and insect resistance. Beneficial fungi are also used for disease control. The company installs nesting boxes for owls and bats for rodent and insect control. The company readily shares IPM information with golf course superintendents, forestry personnel, and the 2,900 residents within the Del Monte Forest through in-house training and public outreach and education programs. The company publishes a monthly Pebble Beach Scoreboard along with various informational flyers on pest status and controls. Media contact: Edward C. (Ted) Horton (831) 625-8419.

Weddle, Hansen & Associates, Inc., Placerville, is an independent consulting business started by Pat Weddle in 1975. The company provides its clients information on biologically intensive IPM for pear and apple, charging a fee for service. For almost 25 years, the firm has displayed leadership through promotion and implementation of bio-intensive IPM and reduced-risk pest management. The firm pioneered commercial biologically intensive IPM consulting for pome fruit in El Dorado, Sacramento, and Solano counties in the mid-1970s. It initiated the first commercial-scale project to control codling moth with pheromone mating disruption in California pears and apples. The success of this reduced-risk effort led to participation in the Randall Island Project, now in its sixth year of operation. Growers participating in this project now use 85 percent fewer pounds of organophosphate (OP) insecticides. The project has been a catalyst for similar IPM projects on tree fruit throughout the western states, including large-scale university and federal programs. The firm is also involved in the Pear Pest Management Alliance. The Alliance uses information from the Randall Island Project to reduce OP usage in other pear-growing areas statewide. Media contact: Pat Weddle, (530) 622-9061.

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