Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab Seeks Legislative Funding
The Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Laboratory is the only service lab in Utah to provide diagnoses and management recommendations for insects, spiders, and plant diseases. Although the Lab has been in existence for nearly 30 years, it has suffered from a lack of adequate funding. Without more funds, the Lab will be unable to provide high quality pest management services to the growing population of Utah. Utah has experienced extensive population growth resulting in increased demand for information and education on caring for landscape ornamentals, turf, small pastures, and specialty fruit and vegetable crops. National accreditation standards will require the Lab to upgrade technology and real-time diagnoses. Legislative funding will stabilize the Lab and allow staff members to increase continuing education opportunities for Extension agents, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food staff, plant industries, homeowners, and others. Therefore, USU Extension is undertaking a funding request initiative in the 2008 General State Legislative Session. The Lab is looking for support from the agricultural, horticultural, and green industries for this funding effort. Please let your local state legislator know that you rely on the support and services of USU Extension Service and the Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab.
-Diane Alston, Extension Entomologist