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SAN DIEGO COUNTY - FARM & HOME ADVISOR

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My airport experience

Hi, I'm longan fruit. I almost made it into the U.S. from Vietnam. Luckily the person that was carrying it knew that she couldn't carry fresh fruit from Vietnam into the U.S. Here's my story.

 

I was put into a carry-on bag before I left Vietnam. While my traveler tried to eat as much as she could before getting to LAX there was still some left by the time she arrived. She also had some dried fruits in her bag. She knew that she couldn't take the fresh fruit in but she was not sure about the dried fruits in so she wanted to ask Customs about that. My traveler dutifully marked the boxes on the paper customs form before she left the plane.

 

 When she got off the plane she looked around to see if there was a security box that's often found in airports for travelers to throw out fresh fruits and vegetables that are not allowed in the U.S. However not seeing one, she continued on through the customs process. LAX also has an electronic kiosk a traveler can use to declare if there are any fruits or vegetables that the traveler is bringing in. My traveler again marked that she had some fruits. It would have been very easy for the kiosk to be programmed to provide additional instruction telling travelers that they should go to a secondary inspection line but there was nothing.


My traveler then continued through the lines, picked up her checked baggage (which did not have any plant material) and then followed the others to leave the airport. At the final check she asked the officer what she should do with the fresh fruit since she expected at some point there would be an opportunity to get rid of it and this seemed like the last chance. The officer said she needed to go to another inspection area. Which she did and gave me to the USDA officer. The officers there also x-rayed the rest of her baggage just to be sure that there was nothing else in her luggage. What shocked my traveler was that if she had not asked about the fruit, she could have just walked out of the airport possibly carrying an exotic pest.

In this case, I did not make it out of the airport. However what would happen if there is a traveler that is carrying fruit or other live plant material that is unaware that these may carry pests that could impact California's agriculture? Some backyard citrus trees were likely infected with HLB (the bacteria that causes citrus greening) through infected stems used for grafting that were probably carried from overseas travelers. If these travelers were not aware that they could not bring them in, it's likely that they too just walked out of the airport. I would say it's not their fault - it's just that there is a missing step.

It's hard to stop someone who is intentionally trying to bring small amounts of plant material into the U.S. in their carry-on bags. However, for the rest of the out of country travelers, there are a number of actions that could be implemented. Some suggestions are

1. Modify a paper declaration form to alert travelers that they need to go through the USDA inspection line once they arrive.

2. Provide a box that is sealed so that pests cannot escape letting travelers anonymously throw out plant material that they are carrying.

3. When using the electronic customs kiosk, there should be an alert telling the traveler that they need to go through USDA inspection if the traveler checks the box in the affirmative when asked about plant material.

I didn't make it but other fruits, vegetables, and plant material probably get through every day. While the suggestions listed above will not catch everything, at least we can reduce some of it.

But there is no further instruction even when you declare…

Posted on Sunday, January 8, 2017 at 10:57 AM
Tags: exotic pests (1)

2017 Pesticide Safety Train the Training Schedule Announced

I just received information about the upcoming dates, times, and locations (when we have the details) for the Pesticide Safety Train the Trainer workshops.  

Instructor Training Workshops 2017

UC IPM will offer pesticide safety trainings across the state of California starting again in February 2017.

Participants who complete this training will become qualified to provide pesticide safety training to fieldworkers and pesticide handlers, as required by California state regulations and the EPA revised Worker Protection Standard. Train-the-Trainer instruction and materials are funded in part by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR).

For more information and to be updated about when the registration is open, please see the UC IPM training page www.ipm.ucanr.edu/EVENTS. For specific questions please email pesticidesafety@ucanr.edu 

UC IPM ofrecerá capacitaciones de seguridad de pesticidas en todo el estado de California de nuevo a partir de febrero 2017.

Los participantes en este programa serán calificados para entrenar a los trabajadores de campo y a los aplicadores de pesticidas, como es requerido por las regulaciones del estado de California, he incluso el Estándar de Protección del Trabajador revisado por EPA. La instrucción y materiales para esta capacitación son financiados en parte por el Departamento de Regulaciones de Pesticidas de California (CDPR).

I highlighted the trainings in/close to S. California

LOCATION

DATE

Presented in:

Napa

UCCE Office
1710 Soscol Avenue
Suite 4
Napa, CA 94559-1315

2/2/17

English

Napa

UCCE Office
1710 Soscol Avenue
Suite 4
Napa, CA 94559-1315

2/3/17

Spanish

San Diego County

SD Farm Bureau

1670 E Valley Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92027

2/7/17

Spanish

Monterey County

1 Old Golf Course Rd, Monterey, CA 93940

2/28/17

Spanish

Monterey County

1 Old Golf Course Rd, Monterey, CA 93940

English

Ventura

Cooperative Extension Ventura County

669 County Square Drive, #100

Ventura CA 93003

3/9/17

English

Santa Maria

3/21/17

Spanish

Chico

Oxford Suites

2035 Business Lane

Chico, CA 95928

3/22/17

English

Chico

Oxford Suites

2035 Business Lane

Chico, CA 95928

3/23/17

Spanish

Bakersfield

3/28/17

Spanish

Tulare County

3/29/17

English

Fresno County

3/30/17

Spanish

Modesto

4/4/17

English

Modesto

4/4/17

Spanish

Sonoma County

4/6/17

TBD

Imperial County

4/11/17

English

Imperial County

4/11/17

Spanish

Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 11:32 AM

Looking for certified organic growers to participate in a multistate soil and food-safety study

University of California ANR (Cooperative Extension) scientists are looking for certified organic growers to participate in a multistate soil and food-safety study.  The data they gather will help them develop national guidelines and best practices for using raw manure to improve soil health.

“The goal of our study is to provide organic farmers with science-based strategies that effectively limit food-safety risks when using raw manure-based soil amendments,” said Alda Pires, UC Cooperative Extension urban agriculture and food safety specialist in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis.

The study will run two years. In return for participating, growers will receive free test results for their farm, farm-specific feedback to help minimize contamination of fresh produce and $700 at the end of the study.

Researchers will visit participating farms eight times over the 2017-18 growing season. They will collect produce, soil and water samples.

“All of the samples will be tested for bacterial indicators such as nonpathogenic E. coli and pathogens. We will ask the farmers to complete a short survey,” said Michele Jay-Russell, a veterinary research microbiologist and manager at the Western Center for Food Safety at UC Davis. “The study is voluntary and all locations and names will be kept confidential.”

For more information or to enroll in the project, contact Pires at (530) 754-9855 or apires@ucdavis.edu, or Jay-Russell at (530) 219-4628 or mjay@ucdavis.edu.

Posted on Monday, December 19, 2016 at 4:29 PM

Pesticide Safety Train the Trainer Coming back to Southern California en EspaƱol

Hold the date for February 7, 2017 for Pesticide Safety Training the Trainer workshop. It's going to be at the San Diego Farm Bureau's  office. This one is in Spanish. More info to follow but here is what was posted for the trainings done in the fall.

Classes will be 8:00 am-5:00 pm ; Continental Breakfast and Check-in start at 7:45 am. 
  Clase de las 8:00 am a 5:00 pm; Registración y desayuno a las 7:45 am

(Español abajo)

Participants who complete this training will become qualified to provide pesticide safety training to fieldworkers and pesticide handlers as required by California state regulations. This training is approved and co-sponsored by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR). 

Cost 

$150 per person  

 (English above)

 Los participantes en este programa serán calificados para entrenar a los trabajadores de campo y a los aplicadores de pesticidas, como es requerido por las regulaciones del estado de California. El departamento de regulaciones de pesticidas de California (CDPR) aprobó este entrenamiento.

Costo

$150 por persona

 

Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 11:33 AM

Be Prepared for Changes to the Worker Protection Standard

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) recently published the revised Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS).  The WPS is meant to increase protections for agricultural fieldworkers and pesticide handlers from pesticide exposure when working in farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses. The changes will definitely affect California agriculture, and soon-- as early as January 2017 in some cases.

What major regulatory changes are in store for us and when will they happen?

Several changes are required to be in place by January 2, 2017. These include:

  • All 417,000 fieldworkers in California must attend annual pesticide safety training.
  • Records of all fieldworker pesticide safety trainings must be kept on file for 2 years.
  • Fields must be posted when the restricted entry interval (REI) exceeds 48 hours.
  • Instructors previously certified via Train-the-Trainer to lead pesticide safety trainings must now attend an EPA-approved Train-the-Trainer course to maintain that certification.

The regulatory changes that are required to be in place by January 2, 2018 include:

  • Additional training topics for fieldworkers and handlers must be added to the curriculum.
  • “Application-exclusion zones” must be implemented to prevent the entry of anyone into areas up to 100 feet from pesticide application equipment. Application-exclusion zone regulations also require handlers to suspend an application if anyone enters the restricted area.

Who do these changes affect?

Many people who work in the California agricultural community will be impacted by the WPS revisions including fieldworkers, pesticide handlers, farm labor contractors, private and in-house safety trainers, growers, farm managers, licensed pesticide applicators (private and commercial), pest control advisors (PCAs), and crop consultants to name a few.

The new changes bring about a shared liability with all those involved in employing or training fieldworkers and handlers.

How can I get qualified as a trainer?

To become a trainer, take an EPA- and DPR- approved Instructor Training (a.k.a. “Train-the-Trainer”) workshop.  The University of California Pesticide Safety Education Program (part of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, UC IPM), in partnership with AgSafe, will offer multiple workshops this fall that cover the new federal requirements for fieldworker and handler training.  Visit the Events and workshops page on the UC IPM website to reserve your spot.  At the end of the training you will be a certified pesticide safety instructor. 

Remember, even if you've already participated in a Train-the-Trainer workshop, you are required by EPA to retake the program unless you maintain certain licenses/government designations, including PAC, QAC, QAL, PCA, and certain County Biologist licenses.  UCCE Advisors are also exempted from the need to retrain.

If I am currently qualified, how can I make sure I stay up to date on all these new requirements?

If you are currently qualified as a trainer because you maintain a California PAC, QAC, or QAL, or if you are a PCA, you can attend a Train-the-Trainer workshop this fall to learn about the new WPS requirements and additional training topics.  While a certification may qualify you, a Train-the-Trainer Workshop will prepare you to train! Register today.

 

Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 7:58 PM

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