BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists and officers, along with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Protection and Quarantine, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), USDA Veterinary Services, and the Texas Department of Agriculture hosted an agricultural open house today at the Texas State Technical College (TSTC) Student Center at 1902 North Loop 499, Harlingen, Texas. Agriculture specialists and CBP officers work hard 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 continue to be our guardians at the ports of entry to prevent the introduction of harmful insects and diseases into the U.S. domestic agricultural industries. In fiscal year 2011, CBP agriculture specialists in South Texas intercepted a total of 13,643 pests. They also made 29,719 interceptions of quarantined animal materials. CBP in South Texas also tallied 110,727 interceptions of quarantined plant materials in FY 2011.
CBP agriculture specialists and officers from the USDA, FDA, and the USFWS teamed up for this event and displayed eight exhibit stations. Topics such as the history of agricultural inspections, citrus greening disease, classical swine fever, cut flowers, FDA importation requirements, and fish and wildlife regulations were on display.
"CBP agriculture specialists, working with their local, state and federal agriculture partners, brought this Agriculture Expo to TSTC students, faculty and the general public to give them a hands-on perspective on agriculture inspections and how CBP safeguards the agriculture industry in the Rio Grande Valley," said Michael 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.