I just got an e-postcard from Dr. Jennifer Forman-Orth, our state plant pest survey coordinator (or beetle hunter if you will). Jennifer's avid quest for invasive species makes me wish I had time for an hour-long lunch with her to find out the defining moment she decided that holding an ugly inch-and-a-half long beetle in her hand would be a fun thing to do. Suffice to say, she is always on the lookout for the latest plant pests, plant diseases and weeds that threaten the Commonwealth.
These days she spends a lot of her time educating people about the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), a wood-boring insect recently discovered in Worcester. With a grant that DAR received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Jenn has been organizing ALB training sessions across the state. Jenn and her assistant, Sarah Ryan, have set up ALB information tables everywhere from The Big E to Boston’s GreenFest. As Jenn notes, “The more people we can teach to recognize this shiny black and white beetle, and the round exit holes it makes in maples and other hardwood trees, the better chance we have of getting a jump on the situation if it’s ever found elsewhere in Massachusetts.”
Jenn recently organized ALB tree surveys in Boston and Springfield to encourage volunteers in those communities and budding beetle hunters to learn how to monitor the trees in their own neighborhoods. If you think you’ve seen an Asian longhorned beetle or signs of ALB tree damage, you can report it online or call toll-free at 866-702-9938.
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March posted on Apr 23
Girard’s Sugarhouse in Simsbury, CT. The sugarhouse was built in 1887 and produces around 250-300 gallons of syrup annually. Photo by Michael Girard March’s contest winner was Michael Girard who photographed his family’s sugarhouse in Health. Michael Girard has been a sugarmaker since 1961 when he …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: March
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February posted on Feb 25
February’s contest winner was Amanda Bettle, who photographed sheep at The Natural Resources Trust of Easton. This photo features Dog, a former 4-H show animal and sole male sheep among the nine ewes in the Natural Resources Trust of Easton (NRT) flock. It is the mission …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: February
2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January posted on Jan 26
January’s contest winner was Renee Finnegan, who photographed a pensive Highland cow at Oak Meadows Farm & Garden in Rutland. Glenn and Mary Kauppila have been farming 100 acres of land in Rutland for approximately 15 years. With the help of their three adult children, they …Continue Reading 2015 DAR Agricultural Calendar: January