Published on 08/27/19

Dan Suiter to lead programming at UGA Center for Urban Agriculture

By Sharon Dowdy

University of Georgia Department of Entomology Professor Dan Suiter has been named the chair of the UGA Center for Urban Agriculture Faculty Advisory Committee.

Suiter’s appointment will enhance the programming aspect of the center, according to Laura Perry Johnson, associate dean for UGA Cooperative Extension in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). Suiter will work closely with center Director Sheldon Hammond, who will continue to oversee the business and personnel administration functions of the center.

Based on the UGA Griffin campus, the Center for Urban Agriculture supports UGA Extension’s urban programs by providing county agent training programs, tools and resources; communicating the latest research-based urban agriculture advice through newsletters, articles, alerts, publications, videos and social media; organizing new initiatives; collaborating on interdisciplinary projects and research; advancing and updating current program training materials; and administering multiyear programs and projects.

“Our state continues to have population growth and most of that is in the nine largest counties in Georgia. Issues and problems associated with this urban growth come in many forms and cross many disciplines and departments,” Perry Johnson said. “Dan will work to build diverse teams around urban issues and coordinate programming efforts related to urban programs and projects.”

As director of the Georgia Structural Pest Control Training Facility at UGA-Griffin, Suiter coordinates activities at the 3,000 square-foot, partially built home facility, which is designed to showcase many common construction practices and how they may be attacked by structural pests.

In 2014, mock residential and commercial kitchens and a residential bedroom were added to the facility to allow for the delivery of additional workshops on home integrated pest management (IPM), commercial IPM, school IPM, and controlling bed bugs and termites. The facility is an invaluable tool used to train Georgia’s pest management professionals and county Extension agents.

In 2006, Suiter developed a 10-week Certificate in Urban and Structural Pest Management program that provides nontraditional students with a broad overview of the pest control industry.

Through his programs, Suiter teaches hundreds of pest control professionals each year and reaches thousands more online through continuing education classes organized by the Center for Urban Agriculture. Archived lessons from the webinar series on urban pest control, taught by faculty from major research universities, can be viewed at the Getting the Best of Pests website. Since 2007, Suiter has taught more than 30,0000 people in more than 20 states.

Suiter was awarded the D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Extension in 2018 for his extraordinary commitment to the mission of UGA CAES.

“Over the past couple of years, we have worked to broaden and strengthen the scope and resources of the Center for Urban Agriculture,” Perry Johnson said. “We have added expertise in training and certification of landscape professionals and structural pest control operators, expanded our support of school and community gardens, local foods, and sustainability as a whole, and added capacity for urban water and homeowner and landscape irrigation, as well as other urban issues.”

Visit the Center for Urban Agriculture website to learn more.

Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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