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Elizabeth Lamb

Accolades Earn “Excellence in IPM” Award for Pest Management Advocate

by Mary Woodsen

Betsy Lamb

“Impressive.” “The best workshop I’ve ever been to.” “She was committed to my success every step of the way.”

Accolades like these have earned Elizabeth Lamb the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program’s (NYS IPM) Excellence in IPM award. This award honors people who make outstanding contributions to preventive and least-toxic tactics for dealing with pests.

As ornamentals coordinator for NYS IPM since 2006, Lamb has provided scores of workshops for 2,000-plus nursery and greenhouse growers, Christmas tree farmers, and landscapers — people working in industries collectively worth nearly $200 million per year to New York’s economy, and that at wholesale prices.

“Betsy’s workshops are always full with waiting lists of people who’d like to attend,” says Mark Bridgen, director of Cornell’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center. “These people don’t hesitate to speak their minds. It’s a true indicator of Betsy’s success when the leaders of New York’s ornamental plant industry go out of their way to let it be known that they’re impressed.”

Lamb and teammate Brian Eshaneur take boxloads of forceps, beneficial insects in vials, dissecting microscopes, and samples of trending pests to their “IPM In-depth” workshops around the state — workshops that always finish at a commercial greenhouse where a grower demonstrates the IPM tactics they’ve used to prevent or solve problems. “Hearing it from another grower provides the proof-of-concept that only a commercial operation can,” Lamb says.

At the end of each workshop, Lamb asks attendees to write down topics they need help with in future workshops. “This has really helped me,” says JoAnn Delaney of Delaney Farms. “It gave me the courage to try biocontrols in our greenhouses. I couldn’t have done it without Betsy.”

“The ornamentals industry throughout New York has been extremely supportive of our programs,” says Lamb. “It makes you want to work harder when people know what you do and like what you’re doing,”

Curt Petzoldt, NYS IPM’s co-director, credits Lamb with making the entire program stronger. “Whatever we need to accomplish as a program, Betsy’s always willing to step up to the plate.”

Lamb received the Excellence in IPM award on August 13, 2013 at Cornell University’s Horticulture Field Day.