Orkin Termite Training Facility To Be Constructed At UF’S Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka
APOPKA, Fla., Oct. 3, 2005 – The O. Wayne Rollins Foundation in Atlanta has pledged $150,000 to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences to help establish the Orkin Termite Training Facility at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka.
Construction of the facility – the first of its kind in Florida – will begin in 2006, with completion expected by the end of the year.
John Capinera, chairman of UF’s entomology and nematology department in Gainesville, said the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation gift will benefit Floridians as public and private organizations use the facility to learn about the most effective inspection and treatment methods for subterranean termites, which cause 95 percent of all termite damage in North America. Because of Florida’s climate and soil composition, the state is home to the nation’s largest termite populations, including the highly aggressive Formosan termite.
“Part of the Foundation’s goal is to promote pest control innovation that enhances health and lives,” said Glen Rollins, president and chief operating officer of Orkin and grandson of O. Wayne Rollins, for whom the Foundation is named. “The Orkin Termite Training Facility will provide expert termite education, benefiting homeowners throughout the Southeast and nation.”
UF faculty and staff, along with other industry professionals, will provide statewide training to a wide range of participants including pest control professionals, government employees and students. The termite training facility will also be available for lease by manufacturers and other companies, including pest control firms from northern states where training schedules are restricted by climate.
Faith Oi, an assistant extension scientist at UF and project coordinator of the new facility, said all aspects of home and commercial pest control will be demonstrated, providing trainees with practical experience in treating termites.
“We are very pleased that UF will have this valuable resource for hands-on education, and we are grateful for the enabling gift from the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation,” Oi said.
She said the training facility will support integrated pest management (IPM) programs recommended by UF entomologists and Orkin pest control professionals.
“The goal of IPM is to balance the risk of using pesticides with the need to control pests and protect the environment,” Oi said. “The Orkin donation for the termite portion of the training facility will help expedite construction of the general household pest programs as well as lawn and ornamental programs at the facility. This will allow us to educate pest control professionals who participate in the UF-sponsored “IPM in Schools” program, which promotes the use of IPM in educational facilities throughout the state.”
In addition to the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation gift, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has pledged $150,000 to help build the termite training facility.
About the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation
Founded in 1967, the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation provides philanthropic contributions for the support of medical research at colleges and universities, including the role of pests in our environment. The foundation’s geographic focus is predominantly the state of Georgia and the Southeast.
About Orkin, Inc.
Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin, Inc. is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects in North America. With more than 400 locations, Orkin’s almost 8,000 employees in the United States and Canada serve approximately 1.7 million customers. Orkin is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rollins, Inc., which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (ROL). Learn more about Orkin by visiting www.orkin.com and www.rollins.com.