Jul 25, 2018New field coordinator joins North Central Region IR-4
Anthony VanWoerkom is the new regional field coordinator for the North Central Region IR-4 program. VanWoerkom earned his bachelor, master and doctoral degrees at Michigan State University studying fruit entomology and insecticide toxicology. He worked as a research technician at the Trevor Nichols Research Center and as an IR-4 field research director.
“I am very excited to continue my career as a Spartan entomologist!” VanWoerkom said. “Working with the interregional research project #4 (IR-4) has been a great experience for me and I am thrilled to make a positive impact as the regional field coordinator.”
The national IR-4 project serves as the primary avenue for new reduced-risk pesticides and biopesticides to be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for minor-use crops and ornamentals. The IR-4 project contributes to over 95,000 U.S. jobs throughout the agricultural production value chain, generating some $5,632 million in annual labor income and contributing $9,436 billion to annual gross domestic product, according to a new study by the MSU Center for Economic Analysis.
The North Central Region IR-4 regional field coordinator is the primary point of contact for specialty crop growers in the north-central region, assuring their pest management needs are included in the annual prioritization process. The North Central Region includes 12 states in the general Midwest.
VanWoerkom begins his position as regional field coordinator Aug. 1, 2018, and will oversee and coordinate the activities of field cooperators who conduct Good Laboratory Practices field residue trials and efficacy/crop safety trials for IR-4. As the regional field coordinator, VanWoerkom will assist IR-4 study directors in monitoring progress of field trials, serve as the liaison between study directors and field cooperators, and communicate the prioritization process at the IR-4 Food Use Workshop and Environmental Horticulture Workshop.
“I really look forward to working with and gaining stronger relationships with the IR-4 stakeholders, which include commodity producers, food processors and consumers,” VanWoerkom said. “I am excited to promote IR-4 and establish a strong network that allows specialty crop farmers to gain or maintain the pesticide registrations they need to be successful. This line of communication is especially important during this time of increased international Maximum Residue Level regulations, overall increased pesticide regulations and new invasive pests. Lastly, I look forward to working and communicating with the field, lab and office personnel at the regional and national IR-4 offices.”
“Tony has worked in fruit crop IPM for over 10 years and is well-equipped for this new challenge,” said John Wise, North Central Region IR-4 director and MSU entomology professor. “He has a passion for seeing specialty crop producers prosper and succeed. I am confident he will enhance IR-4 in achieving its mission of facilitating regulatory approval of sustained pest management technology for specialty crops and specialty uses.