The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a member of the Northeast Plant Diagnostics Network, a member of the National Plant Diagnostic Network which was established in 2002 in response to the need to enhance agricultural security through protecting health and productivity of plants in agricultural and natural ecosystems in the U.S. NPDN has grown into an internationally respected consortium of plant diagnostic laboratories. The specific purpose of the NPDN is to provide a cohesive, distributed system to quickly detect and identify pests and pathogens of concern. To accomplish this mission, the NPDN has invested in diagnostic laboratory infrastructure and training, developed an extensive network of First Detectors through education and outreach, and enhanced communication among public agencies and stakeholders responsible for responding to and mitigating new outbreaks.
Do you work with plants on a daily basis? Are you interested in protecting U.S. agricultural and natural areas from exotic, invasive species? Become a NPDN First Detector by completing on-line training modules. The importance of an educated and engaged general public can not be overstated; the first detection of Asian Long-horned beetle in Worcester, MA was not by trained specialists, but by a concerned and observant homeowner!