Extension IPM Agents Honored at 2015 TPMA Annual Meeting

AUSTIN—Three Texas A&M AgriLife Extension personnel received honors at this year’s Texas Pest Management Association in Austin.

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TPMA Board Chairman Mark Wright, left, and Award Winners Stephen Biles, center. and Rick Minzenmayer, right. Photo by Pat Porter

The awards were given to Extension Agent-IPM Stehen Biles, Extension Agent-IPM Danielle Sekula-Ortiz, and Extension Agent-IPM Rick Minzenmayer for their dedication and hard work throughout the year.

Biles received the 2014 Excellence in IPM Programming Award for seven or more years of service to the state’s integrated pest management program. According to the nomination letter, Biles serves as the Extension Agent-IPM for Calhoun and Refugio Counties. He has also served as the EA-IPM for Jones, Mitchell and Scurry Counties from 1994 to 2004.

Biles assumed his current responsibilities in the mid-Texas coastal region in 2004 and has worked to educate farmers about IPM technologies, and cooperated in numerous regional research and demonstration projects.

Danielle Sekula-Ortiz. Photo by Rod Santa Ana, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications.

Danielle Sekula-Ortiz. Photo by Rod Santa Ana, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications.

Sekula-Ortiz received the 2014 TPMA Excellence in IPM Programming Award for 0-7 years. She began working as an Extension Agent – IPM for the Lower Rio Grande Valley region, which covers Cameron, Willacy and Hidalgo counties, in 2013. Before then, she worked as a Field Entomologist for Rio Queen Citrus.

“Danielle has worked hard to re-establish a viable IPM Program in the agricultural-rich Rio Grande Valley,” the nomination said. “Danielle has faced a host of pest challenges in Deep South Texas and has worked diligently with farmers to address pest problems”

Minzenmayer received the Outstanding Extension Agent –IPM Award for 2014 for his outstanding work serving the Runnels and Tom Green County areas for more than 30 years. During that time, he has spent countless hours working to educate farmers about the benefits of IPM.

“Rick has always been an outspoken advocate for Texas Pest Management Association, and the organization continues to appreciate his candid advice and dedication,” the nomination said. “His commitment to the Texas IPM Program continued during 2014 as he conducted and/or participated in numerous demonstration and research projects to advance the region’s agricultural industry.”

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