04-05-17 Inside the BARN with Eduardo Varona, USDA APHIS State Operations Coordinator…

Inside the BARN with Eduardo Varona, a State Operations Coordinator for USDA APHIS

Eduardo Varona, a State Operations Coordinator for USDA APHIS

April is “Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month” and USDA APHIS (United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) is asking the public to help keep invasive species from spreading – specifically, 19 destructive ones, mostly insects, known as Hungry Pests that are easily moved by people. It only takes one person to move something they shouldn’t that can unintentionally spread pests to new areas.

Joining the Colorado Ag News Network to discuss how Hungry Pests can be spread by individuals, explain what these invasive pests look like, how to look for signs of them and what to do if you see them is Eduardo Varona, a State Operations Coordinator for USDA APHIS:

  • How to safely buy pest-free plants and seeds, including ones online.
  • The dangers of moving firewood.
  • Why citrus plants should not be moved.
  • How to leave pests behind when moving to a new home.
  • Why it’s important to clean outdoor items before a camping or hiking trip.
  • Precautions to take when traveling internationally.

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BIOGRAPHY

Eduardo Varona is a State Operations Coordinator for the USDA. Based in Florida, he serves as USDA’s local liaison for the giant African snail eradication efforts. He also participates in public outreach concerning invasive fruit flies and oversees conveyances of many private companies, such as cargo ships, cruise ships and airplanes, to make sure they comply with USDA regulations. Formerly, Eduardo was a Pest Survey Specialist under the joint Federal-State Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey, where he was a lead member of the team responsible for the first detection in the U.S. of citrus greening disease, considered to be the most devastating disease of citrus worldwide.

Today’s interview was provided as a courtesy by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Learn more online @ http://www.hungrypests.com/