The National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) has released an online crop biosecurity training course on April 1, 2008. County extension agents, crop consultants, Master Gardeners, and others interested in assisting in the protection of U.S. agricultural and natural areas should complete the training. Topics covered include: the Mission of the NPDN, Monitoring for High Risk Pests, Diagnosing Plant Problems, Submitting Diagnostic Samples, Photography for Diagnosis, and Disease and Pest Scenarios. Participants receive the First Detector newsletter, pest alerts, and state/regional pest information of interest in some instances.
First Detectors are an important first line resource for the early detection of exotic pests. In addition to the online training, the NPDN offers numerous local training sessions. Visit the NPDN Training Site to search for face-to-face and/or hands-one training in your local area. In some states, advanced, special topic training may be available once core content has been completed.
General questions about First Detector training, including how to conduct training in your state, can be directed to national coordinator, Amanda Hodges