2010: A Year of Service

January 17, 2011

Fresh from Florida Division of Plant Industry logo

DPI is headquartered in Gainesville, Fla., but has office locations strategically located throughout the state to better serve Floridians.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry’s mission is to protect Florida’s native and commercially grown plants and the state’s apiary industry from harmful pests and diseases. DPI works by the slogan, “Protection through Detection.” Looking back over last year, it is evident that DPI has been proactive in protecting Florida’s consumers, agriculture industry and environment from pests and diseases. Potential pathways for these pests and diseases to enter Florida are only increasing, which means DPI will have to continue improving detection and response methods. DPI is not only focused on carrying out its mission, but also constantly improving operations to respond efficiently to the changing needs of the state.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” The energy and persistence DPI employees bring to their jobs has an extraordinary impact on the success of the division. Some might wonder if Florida’s agriculture industry and environment are a lost cause to invasive pests and diseases. However, with hundreds of people working every day at DPI to serve consumers and protect Florida, the division has the energy and persistence needed to identify and conquer issues facing the state’s plant and apiary industries.

Recent pest introductions to Florida

A variety of pests have been recently introduced into the state. Florida is a sentinel state for pests and diseases because of climate and geography, trade and tourism, multiple pathways for pest introduction with international ports and urban encroachment on rural areas.

 In 2010, DPI, along with federal and state counterparts, confirmed new cases of pests and diseases in Florida, successfully eradicated some of the most dangerous agricultural pests in the world and helped to establish policy to protect the plant and apiary industries. These achievements were won by the combined efforts of people committed to an agency because of the service it provides Floridians on a daily basis. DPI is not an ambiguous government entity, but a thriving community of scientists, professionals and stakeholders. From inspectors in the field to scientists in the lab to administrators in the office, DPI is a collaborative group of real people working on real problems to serve the needs of millions of people throughout the state.

Let’s take a look at some of DPI’s milestones in 2010.

Dr. Wayne Dixon, Acting Director

: Dr. Wayne Dixon was named to Acting Director of the Division of Plant Industry in 2010 after serving as assistant director since 2008 and, prior to that, held the position of Bureau Chief of Entomology, Nematology and Plant Pathology.

With new division and department leadership, new challenges and a new year, it is an exciting time for DPI. Energy and persistence within the division is fueled by the positive outcomes of programs in 2010, and the DPI community is working to conquer issues facing Florida’s plant and apiary industries in 2011.
For a visual overview of DPI and an update on issues facing the division, view this presentation from our SlideShare account.
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