Brownsville, Texas - With Mother's Day just around the corner on May 9, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's highly trained agriculture specialists and CBP officers along with U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Protection and Quarantine, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, USDA Veterinary Services and the Texas Department of Agriculture hosted an agricultural open house at Texas State Technical College Student Center at 1902 North Loop 499, Harlingen, Texas.
Agriculture specialists and CBP officers are hard at work to ensure that plant diseases and plant pests are detected and prevented from being introduced into the United States where they could cause harm.
Agriculture specialists and CBP officers are on constant alert to prevent the introduction of harmful insects and diseases into the U.S. agricultural domestic industries. In fiscal year 2009, CBP agriculture specialists seized more than 1.5 million prohibited plant, meat and animal byproducts and intercepted more than 166 thousand pests at the U.S. ports of entry.
CBP agriculture specialists and CBP officers performing agriculture exams at the eights ports of entry between Brownsville and Del Rio, Texas recorded 132,962 interceptions of quarantine plant materials and 21,259 pest interceptions during fiscal year 2009.
CBP agriculture specialists, and officers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife have teamed up for this event and had on display approximately eight exhibit stations. Topics such as history of agricultural inspections, citrus greening disease, classical swine fever, cut flowers, FDA importation requirements, Fish and Wildlife regulations and many more were on display.
"This event was open to the public; students and faculty and was well attended; we received several inquiries for students and faculty at TSTC. We also had a national recruiter on hand to give students advice on future careers with CBP," said Michel Freeman, CBP port director, Brownsville.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.