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Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
OSU Researcher Named USDA Plant Health Champion
Oklahoma State University’s Institute for Biosecurity and Microbial Forensics Director Kitty Cardwell has been chosen as a plant health champion by the federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Cardwell is one of five national plant health champions selected by APHIS to highlight plant health as part of a larger campaign developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. They declared 2020 the International Year of Plant Health, and the campaign was extended through 2021 due to setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Outreach for biosecurity is building awareness that plants, trees and agriculture are vulnerable to the invasion of exotic insects and pathogens,” Cardwell said. “People are the main movers of these organisms. The way we trade, what happens when people travel, tourism - all of these things can move pests and diseases around. The idea of the plant health champion is to educate the public that these things happen and that they can help.”

In her role as a plant health champion, Cardwell created a promotional video for the campaign to be distributed by USDA and OSU social media.

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