Indiana Crop Adviser Conference
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CCA's As First Detectors---An Integral Component of the National Plant Diagnostic Network
Following 9-11, the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) was created with funding from the Department of Homeland Security to help protect the citizens of the United States from acts of Agricultural Bioterrorism. NPDN funding has been earmarked for improving diagnostic capabilities at Land Grant University Plant Disease Diagnostic Facilities, establishing a network for shared diagnostic data and secure communications and providing educational programs and materials on non-endemic or invasive species that could threaten our agricultural productivity. The NPDN depends on the trained eyes of first detectors in the field to spot new and unusual pests. You, as Certified Crop Advisors (CCA’s), are an important target audience for NPDN first detector training. You need to know: How to recognize something new; how to respond to an unusual find; how to submit a quality and secure sample and how to incorporate digitally assisted diagnosis into the identification process. You, as CCA’s trained in the art and science of diagnosis, will serve as an ‘army’ of skilled first detectors, able to discern what is normal so as to detect the abnormal and protect our agricultural resources.