Charlie Kruzansky, associate vice president for government relations at Cornell University, received an Excellence in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Award Nov. 27 in Albany from the New York State IPM Program (NYSIPM).
The magic of IPM lies in sharing information to get results, whether it’s between researchers and farmers or school officials and government representatives. Since 1991, Kruzansky has represented Cornell before the legislative and executive branches of the state government and other stakeholders in order to secure funding for IPM and other programs.
His efforts have helped communities across New York implement sustainable ways to manage pests, from helping North Country legislators understand how farmers in their region rely on the IPM trapping network for monitoring the western bean cutworm, to helping state senators on Long Island recognize that IPM management of athletic fields can keep surfaces safe for students without the use of pesticides.
“I am so proud to have helped the IPM Program secure state funding through easy budget times and difficult ones,” said Kruzansky. “The results of this research and outreach benefit the rural, suburban, and urban residents of the state and our air, land and water.” He shares that in a meeting with the NYS Division of the Budget in the first floor of the State Capitol the staff admitted that they had a mouse problem and that the folks at IPM taught them how to solve the problem.
Though his contributions are rarely visible to the public, Kruzansky’s are no less crucial to the impact IPM has in educating people in the community about low-risk ways to manage unwanted insects, plants and other nuisance organisms.
“When the needs and wishes of the people are met by a program that can deliver solutions, government is working well. Charlie helps make that happen,” said Jennifer Grant, director of NYSIPM.
Former IPM directors praised Kruzansky for his longstanding efforts throughout the years.
“Charlie’s understanding of the Albany scene and the countless contacts that he has there have been critical to the overall success that the NYS IPM program has experienced over the years,” said Don Rutz.
Kruzansky’s consistence and persistence earned him a reputation as a juggernaut. His work has helped secure more than $500,000 in annual funding for NYSIPM’s Community program to make schools, parks and homes safer across New York.
“I’m glad Charlie is on our side,” said former director Mike Hoffmann, who added that he appreciates Kruzansky’s insight on “how things really work in Albany” in addition to his guidance on how to best engage state agencies.
The NYSIPM program develops sustainable ways to manage pests and helps people to use methods that minimize environmental, health and economic risks. The Excellence in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Award is presented to innovators who encourage the adoption of IPM on their farms; promote IPM in their businesses, schools, and communities; and who develop new tools and tactics for sharing these practices. Learn more about Integrated Pest Management at nysipm.cornell.edu.
Post by Mariah Mottley Plumlee, freelance writer for the NYSIPM Program.