Brownsville, Texas —U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s agriculture specialists, import specialists, CBP officers and Border Patrol agents along with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Protection and Quarantine, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife (FWL), USDA Veterinary Services, U.S. Department of Domestic Programs, and the Texas Department of Agriculture hosted an agricultural open house at Texas State Technical College (TSTC) 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.
“We at CBP along with our agriculture specialists work closely with our local, state and federal agriculture partners to bring Agriculture Expos to TSTC students, faculty and the general public as a way of giving them a hands-on perspective of agriculture inspections, and a first-hand working knowledge on how CBP protects the Rio Grande Valley’s agricultural industry,” said Michael Freeman, CBP port director in Brownsville.
Agriculture specialists and CBP officers continue to be our guardians at the ports of entry to prevent the introduction of harmful plant pests and foreign animal diseases into the U.S. domestic agricultural industries. In fiscal year 2013, CBP officers and agriculture specialists within the Laredo Field Office intercepted a total of 16,987 pests. CBP in South Texas also tallied 134,809 interceptions of quarantined plant materials in FY 2013.
CBP agriculture specialists, and officers from the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife (FWL) have teamed up for this event and had several 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.
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.