BUG BUSINESS: Con- vening this year at Boise Centre, the Pesticide Stewardship Conference offers “a forum to facilitate net- working and coopera- tion” for industry pro- fessionals.
MEETING: 2012 Pesticide Stewardship Conference, organized by The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) at Idaho’s Boise Centre on Feb. 8–9. According to TPSA’s website, the conference is intended “to serve as a forum to facilitate networking and cooperation among parties from around the world who are involved in any aspect of pesticide stewardship” — which is defined as “increasing effectiveness and efficiency, proper labeling, judicious application, proper handling of empty containers, and waste minimization” of pest-killing chemicals.
CHALLENGES: In the run-up to this year’s conference, the biggest concern for J.R. Simplot Co. Environmental Health Services Manager Ed Cranson — the chair of both TPSA’s board of directors and its conference committee — was that the meeting was being cut from two-and-a-half days to just two. (Read a Pre Con profile of the meeting at bit. ly/Convene-TPSA.) There wasn’t any special reason for doing so, other than the fact that conference organizers felt everything could be accomplished in a shorter amount of time. The only meeting element that was eliminated altogether was a pre-conference reception. Slimming down the meeting worked, thanks in no small part to staff at both Boise Centre and headquarters hotel The Grove. “The Boise Centre staff are experi- enced, and assured all our functions and
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meetings went well,” Cranson said. “The Grove hotel staff also provided our organiza- tion with quality service with our travel and meeting needs.” Cranson said that the audiovisual, IT, catering, meeting rooms, and facilities at Boise Centre were all top-notch, as were the hotel arrangements, registration, and guest services provided by The Grove. “Other cities should learn from these folks,” he said.
INITIATIVES: New to this year’s Pesticide Stewardship Conference were educational sessions on agricultural plastics management — a relatively new field within pesticide stewardship — which relates to the proper deployment of plastic products used by farmers on their crops. Other returning educational topics included integrated pesticide management, pesticide spray drift, pesticide disposals, container regulation, and more.
At the close of the conference, it turned out to have been a successful educational crop-dusting. Reaction from the 110 attend- ees to session topics both cutting-edge and traditional was quite positive. “It was a first-class conference,” Cranson said. “We got some really good comments back from attendees.” n