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Mike Stanyard

Outstanding in His Field: Ten-county Team Leader Earns IPM Award

by Mary Woodsen

mike stanyardWhen entomologist Mike Stanyard leads a workshop or field meeting, farmers drop less pressing tasks and go. They know they’ll come home with crop-saving know-how they can’t afford to miss.

The techniques Stanyard teaches are based on IPM, or integrated pest management—a consistent set of sensible, scientifically tested methods for dealing with pests using preventative, least-toxic tactics that go easy, not just on a grower’s bank account, but the environment as well.

Now for his outstanding work with growers in 10 counties as team leader for dairy and field crops in northwestern New York, Stanyard has earned an Excellence in IPM award from the New York State IPM Program.

“We’re lucky to have people like Mike out there in the trenches,” says Keith Waldron, the program’s livestock and field crops coordinator. “Mike has the expertise and the practical experience, and farmers know they can trust him.”

But when Stanyard got his job as a Cornell Cooperative Extension educator 10 years ago, he thought of it as a placeholder. His previous job was in industry and he figured in a few more years he’d go back. He hadn’t factored in what a pleasure it would be to go into the fields with farmers and get his hands dirty.

Stanyard, says colleague Nancy Glazier, is a natural people-person. If he’s making a cold call to a farmer, he’ll often start with a conversation about hunting. “It opens a lot more doors than just talking about Cooperative Extension,” says Glazier. “And when he does research projects with growers, he has their full support.”

Stanyard receives his award on January 16 at the 2013 Corn Congress in Batavia, NY.