More than 500 industry professionals braved blizzard-like conditions to attend the 75th Annual Purdue Pest Management Conference held January 10-14, 2011. The annual event was sponsored by Purdue’s Center for Urban Pest Management in cooperation with NPMA and USDA-APHIS Wildlife, and held on the university campus in West Lafayette, Ind.
This year the Center celebrated the Diamond Anniversary of the conference — 75 years of continuing education and management seminars designed to promote progressive pest management. The meeting is geared for urban pest management professionals, animal damage control specialists, food handlers and processors, and public health specialists.
Each year the conference is planned with a commitment to advanced training and a focus on new ideas and technologies designed to promote innovation and environmentally sensitive approaches to pest management.
Those missions were upheld this year with some 30 speakers addressing topics of interest to attendees over five days. Included was alumnus Dr. Austin Frishman, who returned to Purdue to help celebrate the 75th anniversary with one of his presentations stressing the role of research and technology in the development of the pest management industry during those 75 years. Other presentations covered new technologies in pest management, invasive and new pest species, the latest research on ants and bed bugs, food handling IPM, and green pest management, among many other topics.
More than 40 states and five foreign countries were represented at the conference, and 50 exhibitors conducted educational displays. Dr. Mike Scharf, the recently appointed Rollins/Orkin Endowed Professor of Urban Entomology at Purdue, was introduced to the conferees, and he presented some of his new research developments in termite control. Exhibit hall hours scheduled over the first three days of the conference included a 75th anniversary reception, a cake and refreshments party, and a working lunch event.
This year’s conference was dedicated to Sandra Stephens-Reeves, conference manager with the Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management, who retired in January after many years of service devoted to organizing and planning the annual conference.
Over the years Stephens-Reeves has handled everything from program organization to publicity to brochure production, as well as database management and many other details. One of her key roles has also been working with state regulatory agencies to facilitate the assignment of recertification credits for presentations.
Stephens-Reeves joined Purdue in 1981 as a clerical employee with the university’s Mechanical Engineering Department. She began working with the Department of Entomology in 1989, and within a few years was working exclusively for the Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management. Over the years she assumed more responsibility and developed strong industry relationships through her efforts in helping to organize the Purdue conference. Through these contributions, Stephens-Reeves is attributed with providing continuity, experience and problem-solving skills to deliver the best continuing education program possible.