Pendleton, S.C. – Steven Long, assistant director of Clemson University Regulatory Services who oversees the state Department of Plant Industry (DPI) and its invasive species programs, has been named president of the National Plant Board (NPB).
As NPB president, Long will lead a 12-member board tasked with protecting agriculture, horticulture, forestry and the environment on state, national and international levels.
The NPB acts as a national and international information clearinghouse on plant pest prevention and regulatory matters. The board also makes recommendations to regional boards and is a nexus where plant health programs throughout the United States work together.
Long has served as the board’s vice-president since 2019 and has played a leading role in protecting South Carolina’s agriculture, horticulture, forestry and nursery industries from invasive plants and pests since being named Regulatory Services assistant director in 2015.
“Steven’s role as NPB president will allow Clemson to lead the nation in addressing plant pest issues that impact agriculture and natural resources in the U.S. I cannot think of a person better prepared for this position, and I am very proud of his willingness to accept this leadership opportunity,” said Stephen Cole, Regulatory Services director.
Long is currently directing the state’s response to a number of plant threats, including an infestation of Asian Longhorn Beetle in the Charleston area, as well as campaigns against spotted lanternfly, cogongrass, box tree moth, Benghal day flower and sweet potato weevil.
“I am honored to have been named president of the National Plant Board and to lead a dedicated group of regulatory professionals with the mission to protect the nation’s agricultural and natural resources industries from invasive plant pests and ensure to the future viability of our country’s supplies of food and fiber, and the value of our natural resources,” Long said.
Clemson Regulatory Services protects the state from exotic and invasive species, ensures pesticides are used safely, regulates the structural pest control industry, verifies fertilizer and lime meet standards and label guarantees, conducts programs for seed and organic certification, provides diagnosis of plant pests, as well as ensures readiness to respond to catastrophic events impacting the state’s agriculture industry.
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