The USDA has presented the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Administrator’s Award to the cooperative European grapevine moth (EGVM) program.

The award recognizes collaboration, creativity, and outstanding contributions to the APHIS mission of protecting America’s agriculture.

The EGVM program received the award for successfully preventing the establishment of the EGVM through science and regulatory-based initiatives which protected the $5.7 billion California grape and tree fruit industry.

The EGVM is an invasive species that targets grapes and tree fruit, among other plants.

The EGVM program brought together representatives from APHIS, Natural Resources Conservation Service, California Department of Food and Agriculture, University of California - Fresno County, and industry stakeholders, including the California Table Grape Commission (CTGC).

Kathleen Nave, CTGC president said, “The table grape industry is grateful for the work of the county, state, and federal regulatory agencies in coordinating development and implementation of science-based protocols that allowed shipments to continue during quarantine and eventually resulted in the four county eradication of a dangerous pest.”

Those involved received awards, including the CTGC, California Grape and Tree Fruit League, Consolidated Central Valley Table Grape Pest and Disease Control District, County of Fresno, and other regulatory bodies and industry organizations.

In early 2012, APHIS declared eradication of the EGVM in four California counties, allowing for unrestricted movement of grapes and other host commodities from those areas, which had been regulated since 2010.