UPPDL Receives State Funding
Many of you who have been involved with USU Extension over the years probably know the history of the lab. Drs. Jay Karren and Sherm Thomson, started diagnostic services in the 1970s. Dr. Diane Alston joined the group in 1990. With the changeover of five specialists and diagnosticians, we are finally back up to full steam.
Finding the funding needed to “keep the lights on” in the UPPDL has always been a challenge. We have scrambled to find unique ways to combine funding sources to support our staff. The UPPDL has tried to get stable funding from the state of Utah on several prior occasions. Compared to other service clinics in the state, we are considered small beans because our budget is relatively small. It was very difficult to get noticed by members of the legislature and have them understand our value. We decided the UPPDL needed a face lift of sorts, and created a more unified image called UTAH PESTS.
In 2007, we promoted the lab in trade shows, media, and with marketing materials. Drs. Noelle E. Cockett, Chuck Gay, and Larry Rupp helped the UPPDL form a request proposal. They provided much-needed experience and direction for our group. We also asked for letters of support from the most influential groups in Utah – and got them! We were hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst. Personally, I was in shock for about 3 days after hearing the news. This stable funding will allow us to maintain full-time staff, expand our services, and further benefit agriculture and horticulture in Utah.
-Erin Hodgson, Extension Entomologist (No longer at USU)