INDIANAPOLIS — The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has named Dow AgroSciences the winner of its 2009 Commissioner’s Award for Pesticide Stewardship. Anderson (Andy) Rackley, director, Agricultural Environmental Service, FDACS, presented the award Jan. 13, to company representatives during its Pesticide Review Council meeting in Gainesville, Fla. The award recognizes the company’s ongoing CaretakersSM training and stewardship program to support the proper use of Vikane gas fumigant to control drywood termites and other wood-destroying insects in structures.
“Caretakers is a model for how to make sure pesticides are used safely and effectively,” says Commissioner Charles H. Bronson. “The Caretakers program is so effective that we have required other companies to follow this approach when they have registered structural fumigants.”
Established in 1995, the Caretakers program is one of the longest-running product stewardship training programs in the pest control industry. Under the Caretakers program, all fumigators who use Vikane gas fumigant must complete an annual Caretakers workshop that covers label and equipment updates, safety procedures and environmental safeguards. In addition, the stewardship program for Vikane emphasizes hands-on training, technical assistance by Dow AgroSciences specialists and periodic on-the-job quality assurance reviews to ensure proper fumigation procedures are being followed. The Caretakers training and stewardship program for Vikane is updated annually based on feedback from experts in fumigation in Dow AgroSciences, the fumigation industry and state regulatory officials.
“Dow AgroSciences is very grateful to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for this special recognition,” says Dave Morris, commercial leader of the Dow AgroSciences Pest Management business. “It is an especially gratifying recognition for Dr. Ellen Thoms, fumigation technical expert, and Senior Sales Specialist Rudy Subieta, who with others at Dow Chemical pioneered the stewardship efforts for Vikane in the late 1980s that became the Caretakers training program.
“The Commissioner’s Award also serves as recognition for our fumigator customers and the many university and pest management association people who have helped us expand, improve and execute our stewardship efforts over the years, as well as all the VIKANE field sales and technical support personnel nationwide who work hard to ensure the Caretakers training and stewardship programs are effective.”
Dow AgroSciences is the second pesticide manufacturer to receive the FDACS Commissioner’s Award. The company was nominated for the award by the Certified Pest Control Operators Association of Florida.
“In my 30 years of experience in the pest control industry, I have not seen any programs offered by any company that can match the stewardship commitment displayed by Dow AgroSciences for its Caretakers program for Vikane,” says Mike Beckers, chief executive officer of the Certified Pest Control Operators Association of Florida.
The FDACS Commissioner’s Award for Pesticide Stewardship was created to recognize industry leaders who have demonstrated a strong commitment to stewardship programs. Criteria for award nominations include promoting a sustainable economy; protecting citizens and the environment; fostering an active partnership between the manufacturer, distributors and applicators; and maintaining an on-the-ground presence for outreach, training and surveillance to guide the program to maximum effectiveness.
For more information about Vikane gas fumigant, visit www.TermiteTenting.com.