February 9, 2006

Prof. Rutz Named Head of Pest Management Program

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Prof. Donald A. Rutz, veterinary entomology, was appointed director of Cornell’s New York State Integrated Pest Management Program last week. Rutz has served on the program’s operating committee since its inception over 25 years ago. His directorship will continue NYS IPM’s emphasis on securing stakeholder involvement and funding.

NYS IPM collaborates with University faculty and programs, Cornell Cooperative Extension, nonprofits, pest control operators and all levels of government to develop pest management strategies. The nationally renowned program helps people use methods that diminish environmental, health and economic risks associated with pest management.

“The outstanding reputation that our program experiences today has resulted from the ever constant involvement and input from our extensive list of stakeholders in both agriculture and in our communities; our regulators and legislators at the local, state and national levels; our public health and environmental advocacy groups; and our outstanding Cornell extension educators and researchers both off and on campus,” Rutz said in a NYS IPM press release. “As director, I will constantly strive to make certain that this involvement remains the driving force behind our program.”

“I really think it has extraordinary potential to contribute to the wellbeing of citizens,” said Michael P. Hoffmann, who served as the program’s director for six years before Rutz. “The vision that evolved while I was director was to make IPM the pest management solution for all New York citizens, and in a sense make it a household word.”

The key to the program’s success, Hoffman continued, is developing partnerships – with researchers, faculty, government agencies and advocacy groups, among others.

Rutz will devote his efforts to strengthening those partnerships, which he called the “most critical aspect of this position.”

“A major opportunity for the program is that of funding both for agriculture and community IPM,” Rutz said. “I will spend time meeting with legislators, regulators, stakeholders and advocacy groups at the state and national levels, educating them about our programs and discussing our funding needs.” He also expressed an interest in establishing related internships for future IPM practitioners.

Rutz will continue his research and extension programs, which have focused on development, implementation and demonstration of integrated fly management programs for dairy cattle and poultry, alongside his position at the helm of NYS IPM.

The new director joined Cornell as an assistant professor in 1981. During his tenure here, Rutz directed Cornell’s Pesticide Management Education Program for 11 years and chaired the Department of Entomology for 10 years. Rutz received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Veterinary Entomology in 2004 and the Excellence in IPM Award in 2003.

Archived article by Maya Rao
Sun Staff Writer