2009 IPM Symposium in Portland, Oregon

If you didn’t go to the 2009 IPM Symposium, you missed out on a great opportunity to meet many intellects in the field, as well as product companies that are at the forefront on new, inventive and less toxic methods.

Yes, there were a lot of agricultural sessions that may not have interested structural operators, but there were several favorites discussing such current topics as non-toxic bed bug control and birth control technology to knock-down pigeon populations. You would have been able to meet and converse with Tom Green, the founder of the IPM Institute. You would have heard Western Exterminators discuss their field research comparing organic, organic + low-impact, vs. traditional pest control methods. You would have heard a recent study presented by a leading structural pest company on various techniques that were measured for runoff.

The keynote speakers were awesome. My own technician came away with a totally new and updated outlook on global warming. He even rushed calls back to other field technicians telling them what he had learned. It was a real eye opener for him.

But for me, one of the most enjoyable speakers was a researcher from Israel’s Peres Peace Institute, who described how he was playing a small but practical role in the peace process between Israel and Jordan by training farmers on both sides of the border to help eradicate a pest of date trees.

Back in 1974, at age 20, I worked in the date tree fields of a small Kibbutz called Maoz Chaim, in the Jordan Valley. This speaker created a surprising and pleasant Deja Vu experience for me. I can’t tell you what a transformation there has been on this border! When I lived there, our simple agricultural work was interrupted when we held rifle training because terrorists had broken through the border fences. Real peace is not simply about signing documents. It’s about a desire to work together to better the world. This was demonstrated at the 2009 IPM Symposium.

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