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MU Extension Receives Grant to Help Amish, Mennonite Growers to Reduce Pesticides

Release Date: 11/04/2009
Contact Information: Kris Lancaster, (913) 551-7557, lancaster.kris@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., Nov. 4, 2009) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 7 office has awarded the University of Missouri Extension a Strategic Agricultural Initiative grant totaling $51,158 to reduce the use of high-risk pesticides.

This project will build on the University of Missouri Extension’s previous work with Amish and Mennonite produce growers. These religious communities are locally known for fruit and vegetable production and participation in farmers markets and produce auctions. Last year, more than 200 growers in central and northern Missouri took part in the workshops, which covered the basics of soil quality, fresh produce storage, integrated pest management and weed control. University of Missouri and Iowa State extension agents will work to expand these opportunities to several communities throughout north-central Missouri and southern Iowa.

EPA’s Strategic Agricultural Initiative program awards grants for education, extension, demonstration and studies involving the use of sustainable pesticide practices in agriculture. This grant program is a prime example of a pesticide initiative that encompasses EPA’s core principles to improve environmental conditions and protect human health. Since 2001, Region 7 has awarded $461,394 to help farmers adopt better pest management practices.

Growers seeking more information about participating in the project should contact Heather Duncan, environmental scientist, 913-551-7640.
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Learn more about the Strategic Agricultural Initiative at:
www.epa.gov/pesticides/grants/aginitiative.htm