A plant pathology and entomology training program is giving farmers,crop consultants and others in the agriculture industry a more refined eyein recognizing diseases and pests.First Detector Training, part of the National Plant Diagnostic Network,promotes awareness and early detection of exotic and newly emerging plantdiseases and pests in the field through enhanced diagnostics and education.³Itıs an extension of already established training and education inrecognizing problems associated with familiar crop diseases and pests," saidNancy Taylor, director of Ohio State Universityıs C. Wayne Ellett Plant andPest Diagnostic Clinic. The clinic is located on Ohio State UniversityısCollege of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences campus inColumbus.³Training Extension educators and other individuals to identify diseasesand pests and recognize crop problems associated with them is nothing new.This training program just adds a new dimension to providing individualswith the tools needed for early detection of exotic pests, or those deemed ahigh risk or economic threat to agriculture,² said Taylor.Taylor and her colleague Barbara Bloetscher will offer the FirstDetector Training program at the Conservation Tillage and TechnologyConference in February. The session is free with conference registration,but participants are encouraged to sign up in advance by logging on tohttp://cbc.at.ufl.edu . Interested individuals can also register onsite.The Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference will be held Feb. 21-22at the McIntosh Center at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.³First Detector Training is just a piece of overall disease and pestawareness and education,² said Bloetscher, an Ohio State UniversityExtension entomologist. ³The program teaches people what is normal or commonin the field, so they can recognize when something is out of the ordinary.>From there, the program helps them to figure out what to do next or who tocall if something new or suspicious is detected.²First Detector Training during the Conservation Tillage and TechnologyConference will be held on Feb. 21 from 1:15 p.m. until 4:35 p.m. It willconsist of the following sessions: the mission of the National PlantDiagnostic Network; monitoring for high-risk pests; quality and securesample submission; art and science of diagnosis of pathogens; art andscience of diagnosis of arthropods; and digitally assisted diagnosis.OSU Extension experts presenting the First Detector sessions includeDennis Mills, an Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center plantpathologist; Jim Jasinski, OSU Extension educator with the OSU ExtensionCenter at Lima; and Curtis Young, OSU Extension educator in Allen County.The training is open to anyone interested in the program. Those whocomplete the training become Certified First Detectors, and have theopportunity to receive the national NPDN First Detector newsletter, as wellas pest alerts via e-mail through the National First Detector registry.Participants will also receive three hours of Certified Crop Advisorcredits.For more information on the First Detector Program, visit the NorthCentral Region National Plant Diagnostic Network Web site athttp://www.ncpdn.org .For more information on the Conservation Tillage and TechnologyConference, log on to http://hancock.osu.edu/ag/ctc/ctc1.htm , or contactRandall Reeder, OSU Extension conservation tillage specialist, at (614)292-6648 or firstname.lastname@example.org.The conference, which attracts participants from Ohio, Indiana, Michiganand Pennsylvania, provides the latest in university research and industryinformation on topics related to no-till and conservation tillage. Thisyearıs event covers nutrient management, soil and water, economics, soilfertility, precision agriculture, ethanol, and cover crops.