TPSA Adviser – June 2023

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Get to Know Jimmy Hughes – Delaware Department of Agriculture

In February, TPSA welcomed to the Board of Directors newly elected Jimmy Hughes who serves as an Environmental Program Manager for the Delaware Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Section. While Jimmy has been involved in TPSA for 9 years and has attended the last 5 Annual Conferences, many still might not have had the pleasure of meeting him.

When asked how he became interested in working in pesticide stewardship, Jimmy replied that he’s had an interest in agriculture from a very early age.

“Having grown up on the Delmarva Peninsula in Delaware, I was active in 4H and FFA. As a kid I always loved planting things and working in the garden. For me, our family garden was my farm. When I had to mow the lawn I thought it was my farm. Every boy’s dream is to drive that big John Deere tractor or combine. The idea of planting a kernel of corn and in time it grows into a large plant and can produce an ear of corn just amazed me.”

“My first summer job was with the local university at the weed science research farm. That experience working with researchers on new chemistry to eradicate noxious weeds on Delmarva triggered my interest in the science of agriculture. I grew up in an agriculture area seeing all the farming in Sussex County Delaware. While my family never farmed, I always wanted to, but realized I could never farm by myself. So I decided to pursue ag business in college.”

“While an undergrad at Delaware State, my advisor got me interested in soil and plant products. After graduation that led me into ag sales and a soil conservation career. That experience eventually led to becoming an Environmental Program manager working for the State of Delaware overseeing the enforcement of FIFRA.”

“I enjoy working daily with the ag community, also as an important part of agriculture, educating the public on pesticide usage. The word pesticide often is viewed negatively. In my position, I see pesticides being used properly by applicators to help minimize pests. This results in greater crop yields that allow a farmer to produce more food on fewer acres which is very important,” said Jimmy.

Jimmy’s been with the Delaware Department since 2012. He supervises inspection staff while enforcing Delaware’s Pesticide Law and serves as the lead inspector for Sussex County. Following up on inspection referrals from EPA staff, as well as complaints made by constituents, Jimmy conducts inspections to evaluate individuals, facilities, and organizations for compliance.

As part of the investigation process, he assesses environmental conditions to determine the effects of possible pesticide contamination, to determine the source and condition of any contamination, and to assist in coordinating and directing clean-up, detoxification, and disposal. He utilizes the collected information and sample data to make recommendations to supervisory staff. His detailed technical reports and thorough enforcement case files are submitted to the section administrator and the EPA Project Officer. Jimmy also uses statistical analysis to process data to help determine future inspection activities and make program recommendations for improvement.

His professionalism and dedication were recognized in 2021 when he was chosen as the EPA Reg. 3 Inspector of the Year. This award is presented yearly to the inspector who demonstrates the highest level of investigative skills and presents the best cases. When asked about this career highlight, Jimmy recalls, “It was for a case I investigated and documented for a civil penalty. This recognition was a real honor since I’m only the second person from Delaware to be presented with this award since 1992.”

In Jimmy’s time with TPSA, he has enjoyed participating in the TPSA Annual Conference pesticide disposal and container recycling tracks to improve Delaware state programs.

“TPSA has allowed me to build my network and strengthen my contacts with other program managers. I have been able to promote disposal in Delaware with new ideas from TPSA members,” says Jimmy. “Also, TPSA’s contacts and networking has allowed me to better assist the general public with their daily inquiries.”

He appreciates that TPSA provides a forum for meeting with all parties of the pesticide industry. Since becoming a member, he feels he has gained a better understanding of the many programs associated with containers, disposal, and education. He appreciates that the Annual Conference allows for person to person interaction to discuss industry goals, needs, and wants in order to improve overall pesticide stewardship.

In his spare time, Jimmy likes RV camping with his family and spending time outdoors relaxing around a roaring campfire. He enjoys all outdoor activities including hunting, offshore fishing, and the beach. His two children, ages 9 and 4, keep him busy with baseball, 4-H, soccer, and yearly swine shows at the Delaware State Fair.

Jimmy plans to participate in the 2024 TPSA Annual Conference planned for St. Louis in February. If you see him there, be sure to say hello.

TPSA 2023 Conference Highlights – Reno

Keynote Speaker:

Ed Messina – Director, EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs
EPA’s Pesticide Programs Updates

The Conference included informational sessions on:

  • The Search, Evaluation and Approval of Recycling Ag Plastics into New Materials
  • Issues with Mapping and Tracking Hives for Beekeepers
  • A Circular Approach in Ag to PCR Approved for Direct Food Contact
  • Neonicotinoid Stewardship in the Turf & Ornamental Space
  • Management of Treated Seed
  • Building Sustainability Partnerships for Results
  • The Past, Present, and Future of Herbicide Resistance
  • Various Industry Updates on Recycling, Disposal, and PFAS

2024 TPSA Annual Conference • February 6-8
Live! By Loews – St. Louis, MO

More information on the 2024 Annual Conference to be available in the Fall.

The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance Presents 2023 Awards

Outstanding Member Award

Presented to Rachel Bomberger

2023 President’s Award

Presented to Becky Roark

2023 President’s Award

Presented to Renee Woody

New Officers

Back row L to R: Glenn Magley, Nicole Jansen, Bob Mann, Jimmy Hughes, Jack Ranney, Annie Macmillan, Clint Shocklee, and Michelle Wiesbrook
Front row L to R: Wendy Sue Wheeler, Jennifer Thomasen, Rachel Bomberger, and Angela Martin

The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance Elects 2023 Leaders
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) recently elected the board of directors for 2023, including officers and four members to serve on the board.

For more information, click here.

Becoming a Member of TPSA

TPSP membership offers many benefits including access to conference presentations. Members also receive reduced conference fees and have the opportunity to get involved in the administrative and policy functions of TPSA through committees and projects.

  • Individual $75
  • Organization $200 (up to 3 individuals)
  • Retired $35
  • Student $25

Annual TPSA Membership Cycle is from September 1 to August 31.

For more member benefit information, click here.

Be sure to check out the TPSA homepage for the member benefits video featuring 4 of our members.

To complete the membership application, click here.

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