For Immediate Release
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Contact: Ples Spradley, TPSA Awards Chair
St. Louis, MO – The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) held its annual conference virtually in February and presented the 2021 Program Excellence Award to Dr. Don Renchie, Texas Agri-Life Extension Service, a department of Texas A&M University.
The State of Texas has not had a pesticide collection program that producers (farmers and ranchers) can use to properly dispose of unwanted and unused pesticides and herbicide chemicals used in agricultural production since 2008. Texas Agri-Life Extension Service is a unique education agency with a statewide network of professional educators, trained volunteers, and county offices. This agency provides valuable and important information to agricultural producers across the State of Texas.
In 2018, Texas Agri-Life with assistance from Dr. Don Renchie initiated a statewide pesticide collection program to provide producers with the opportunity for proper hazardous chemical disposal because they recognized producers need a disposal option. And due to the high cost of disposal, producers have been stockpiling unwanted/unused pesticides. The high cost of disposal can have a significant impact on an individual producers operating budget, which already experiences low margins due to high production costs and low market prices.
Texas Agri-Life recognized that without government or institutional support for proper agricultural pesticide disposal, unused and unwanted pesticides posed a risk to public health and the environment. From 2018 to 2020, Texas Agri-Life collection events collected 512,000 lbs. from four events held in the State. The largest event was in North Texas and collected 274,521 lbs. This Texas Agri-Life program validated the need for a permanent agricultural pesticide collection program in Texas and now the Texas Department of Agriculture is sponsoring a permanent collection program that will provide annual disposal opportunities for producers in Texas.
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA), founded in 2000, is an organization of federal, state, and local governmental agencies, educational and research institutions, public organizations, private corporations, and individuals that are actively involved in different aspects of pesticide stewardship. The goals of TPSA are to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and longevity of various pesticide stewardship efforts.
Please go to the TPSA web site for more information. The 2022 Pesticide Stewardship Conference is scheduled for February 1-3 in Reno, Nevada.