The IR-4 Project has completed its move to NC State University from Rutgers University, effective Oct. 1, 2021. The national organization, which facilitates research necessary for the approval of pest management technologies on specialty crops, started transitioning its headquarters to NC State in 2019. For IR-4, becoming part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences family was a natural fit with the college’s significant focus on plant protection and the numerous specialty crops grown in the state.
“Under normal conditions, a move of this magnitude is difficult. It is even more difficult to accomplish the move during a global pandemic,” said IR-4 Project Executive Director Jerry Baron. “I want to thank everyone from NC State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who made this historic move possible, especially Dean Richard Linton, Associate Dean Steve Lommel, Associate Dean Rich Bonanno, Associate Director David Monks, Assistant Dean Rebecca Zuvich, Martellis Dickens, Holly Lipkovich, Jamie Dennis, and Jevon Smith.”
Since the transition began two years ago, IR-4 has hired 30 full or part-time employees, moved nearly 60 years of paper files that must be retained per federal regulations, outfitted a modern office space on NC State’s Centennial Campus, and adapted legacy electronic data systems to new and modified systems. All of this occurred under budget and ahead of schedule. It takes a village, and fortunately for IR-4, everyone in the Rutgers and NC State teams worked closely together to make this happen.
“We’re excited to have the IR-4 Project as a part of the CALS community here at NC State University.” said CALS Dean Richard Linton. “IR-4 is a trusted partner in ensuring healthy and safe pest management tools are available for specialty crop growers. Their history of success partnered with our dedication to educating the next generation of plant protection experts will help ensure consumers have plentiful fruits, vegetables, nursery plans and other specialty crops for decades to come.”
The IR-4 Project was established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1963 to ensure that specialty crop growers have legal access to safe and effective crop protection products. With regional field offices throughout the country and a growing international footprint, IR-4 is able to protect crop yields from pests, reduce food waste and increase consumer access to healthy fruits, vegetables and ornamental crops.