by David Mueller
The theme of the 11th Fumigants & Pheromones Conference was Pest Management Around the World. The speakers covered a wide variety of topics from an international pest management perspective. Invited speakers included: Bobby Corrigan, Stan Ignatowicz, Dave Mueller, Otto Muck, Alain VanRyckeghem, Rikiya Sasaki, David Liska, Vasilis Sotiroudas, Austin Frishman, Axel Heptinne, Arda Taner, Stan Buckley, Shashank Nagaraj, Annette Johansson with Ashes, the dog, Pat Kelley, Pete Mueller, Alexander Zrely, Gennady Zakladnoy, and Frank Arthur.
Pest management and stored product experts attended from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Zimbabwe.
I will have many lasting memories from this conference and two that stand out the most for me. One was when the three speakers on the grain fumigation panel from USA, Russia, and Ukraine finished their formal presentations and were being asked questions from the audience. Professor Gennady Zakladnoy from Russia walked across the stage and invited Alexander Zrely from the Ukraine to join him to answer questions together. The audience went quiet, but the spirit of cooperation was loud. The second moment that I will always remember from Krakow was when my son, Pete Mueller, offered a solid presentation full of practical grain fumigation tips and techniques to a group of international fumigators and received high marks on the evaluation sheets for the conference. That made dad proud.
After the meetings, the group was bused to one of the original UNESCO World Heritage sites at the Wieliczka Salt Mines where the gala dinner was held in a 450 year old salt mine whose salt was used to preserve food throughout Europe. The final day of the conference held excursions to various historical sites in and around Krakow including famous Auschwitz.
I believe this was by far the friendliest and most enjoyable conference we have organized since our first international conference in Lubeck, Germany in 1993. The attendees at this meeting came to visit old friends, learn about practical ideas to improve their business, brought their families for a vacation (holiday), and to see a part of the world that they have not seen before. Golden Krakow did not disappoint us.
160 people from 34 countries and six continents came to Krakow, Poland to learn about the latest advancements in stored product pest management. The Fumigants & Pheromones Conference is held every two years.
If you missed this year’s conference, the 12th Fumigants & Pheromones Conference will be March 6-9, 2016 in Adelaide, Australia. “I hope you get a chance to experience this conference someday. It is fun, family friendly, global, and educational.”