The Strategic Plan for 2015 to 2025 is the result of the dedicated effort of a diverse 16-person committee composed of stakeholders representing the diversity of California’s agricultural, urban communities, and natural resources. The nearly final draft was completed before I was hired and I greatly appreciate the work of the committee in developing this excellent plan based on carefully listening to additional stakeholder input from throughout California. This Strategic Plan identifies clear objectives with concrete actions, implementation responsibilities, and milestones to achieve intended outcomes. I cannot think of a better time to become Director than now.

In implementing this plan, I see three themes that will guide my leadership of the UC IPM Program. The first is to continue to focus on delivering science-based integrated pest management information as the Program has since its inception in 1979. Effective pest management relies on accurately identifying the pest and then selecting the most appropriate pest management practices for the specific situation. The UC IPM Program will broaden and deepen our collaborative work with academics across the UC ANR network, including Cooperative Extension specialists and advisors and Agricultural Experiment Station faculty, to develop and deliver credible, unbiased information on pests and effective integrated pest management options.

The second is to expand our collaborations and partnerships along the research-to-implementation continuum. UC IPM will expand efforts to collaborate with others that are also developing research-based integrated pest management information such as California State University system and the U. S. Department of Agriculture. We will also partner with groups throughout the state and together support the adoption of integrated pest management to reduce risks to people and the environment from pests and pest management practices.

The third is to expand our evaluation activities to document the impacts of integrated pest management in California agriculture, communities and natural areas. Data regarding how people access and use our integrated pest management information and what effect that information has on their pest management practices will help us to improve. Ultimately, our vision is to make integrated pest management the way Californians manage pests and we can only accomplish that if we provide Californians the information they need, at the time they need it.

California is a diverse, beautiful state with extensive agricultural lands, large urban areas, and incredible natural areas. Pests cause problems in all regions of the state and allaspects of life. The UC IPM Program strives to protect the economy, human health, and the environment by reducing the risks from pests and pest management practices throughout California.

Jim Farrar