Extension Program Specialist - School IPM
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
In 2001, Janet A. Hurley joined Texas Cooperative Extension in a new venture to launch the Southwest Technical Resource Center for IPM in Schools and Child Care Facilities. Since then Janet has traveled over 1,000 miles in Texas assisting school districts with their integrated pest management program.
To protect children, the Texas Legislature passed a law in the early 1990's requiring that IPM practices be used to manage pests in and around school facilities. It is one of the toughest laws in the nation governing pesticide use in public school buildings. All of the state's public school districts were required to implement an integrated pest management program by Sept. 1, 1995.
From 1995 to 2001, however, there was no resource for schools to turn to for guidance and assistance. The Southwest Technical Resource Center opened in 2001 after receiving a seed grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The center's mission is to offer technical assistance and resources to school districts and child care facilities to implement their integrated pest management programs.
Since opening our doors in 2001, we (Don Renchie, Mike Merchant and I) have trained and assisted over one-third of the schools in Texas, and in some cases, at no cost for on-site compliance assistance, helping the districts save virtually thousands of dollars on pesticides and sometimes avoid costly fines.
As Program Coordinator for the Southwest Technical Resource Center, Hurley oversees the production of a bi-monthly newsletter, a website, and database of school IPM Coordinators. The SWTRC hopes to offer an IPM Coordinator symposium in late 2007 or 2008 in an effort to further educate coordinators about IPM related issues.