APHIS contact: Melissa O’Dell (301) 734-5222
USDA AGENCIES SIGN NATIONAL CLEAN PLANT NETWORK MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
WASHINGTON, March 26, 2009--Three U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies today announced that a National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) has been established at the department. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperatively support NCPN research, quarantine and outreach activities.
Under the agreement, APHIS, ARS and CSREES will work closely together, as well as with university, nonprofit and industry stakeholders to create new, and support existing, NCPN activities. Some of these activities include:
The NCPN, as required by the 2008 Farm Bill, is a collaborative venture, composed of diagnostic, therapeutic and horticultural expertise. NCPN’s goal is to ensure the availability of high quality propagated plant material that is free of plant pests, helping to ensure the global competitiveness of specialty crop producers. The NCPN promotes pest and disease free specialty crops, the rapid and safe introduction of new varieties from foreign sources and hygienic U.S. products for export.
Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet. Go to the APHIS news release page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom. Also, anyone with an e-mail address can sign up to receive APHIS press releases automatically. Send an e-mail message to email@example.com and leave the subject blank. In the message, type