New assistant specialist joins Yuma Agricultural Center

April 16, 2024

In his new role, Wilfrid Calvin is committed to finding ways to reduce pesticide exposure through integrated pest management.

Wilfrid Calvin in front of a building

Wilfrid Calvin standing outside the Yuma Agricultural Center

Elena Lopez

A new assistant specialist with the Cooperative Extension brings a fresh perspective to the Yuma Agricultural Center. Wilfrid Calvin began his new role in February and focuses on specialty crops in integrated pest management (IPM)—an agricultural method of controlling insect pests that minimizes the use of pesticides and the impact to the environment.

Calvin’s dedication to integrated pest management originated from his childhood in Les Cayes, Haiti, where agriculture is the second largest sector of the economy. Growing up among small-scale farms, Calvin learned the importance of minimizing growers’ reliance on pesticides.

“I’m from a country where we don’t really have big farms, so within almost every small farm there is a household,” said Calvin. “In a country like Haiti where almost everything is open field, exposing people to high-risk insecticides is catastrophic.”

Determined to combat pests in a chemical-free way, Calvin has dedicated himself to studying crop entomology. He obtained a bachelor’s degree from the American University of the Caribbean in Haiti, followed by a master’s degree from the University of Florida, and subsequently earned a doctorate degree in Entomology from Texas A&M University. In his previous role, he was a post-doctoral associate with the University of Minnesota, focusing on insecticide resistance and integrated pest management.

Calvin brings an abundance of knowledge and expertise to his role. His specialty will serve farmers everywhere as he works to develop sustainable practices together with industry in the Yuma and Imperial Valley counties.


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