When I was given the reigns of the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab, one of my assigned task was to make the clinic more visible. In 2009, I enlisted the assistance of AgriLife Communications (our in-house communications people) to help with a project to make some stand-up banners for use at the Plant Clinic. This banner was also to be taken on the road and used when TPDDL personnel participates in garden shows, farm days, etc. Melissa Smith, the AgriLife Communications lady assigned to this project did a great job with the banner. While that was being done, I had mentioned business card sized magnets. She used the same concept that was done on the banner to generate several examples of these “fridge” magnets. So in September 2009, an order was sent for 4 different magnets: (background – photos) green – fungal culture & dead leyland cypress, green – date palm decline & rust gall, blue – wilting poinsettia & leaf rust on pear, blue – oak wilt & take-all patch. There were 500 magnets made for each design with the exception of the oak wilt/take-all patch magnet where 1000 was made. We were amazed at how popular these items were to folks wherever we distributed them. We were running low on these magnet by July 2010. The brown-bacterial spot & pumpkin rot magnet was sent off to the printers for 1000 units. Now the latest edition of the TPDDL magnets (2011) have been received from the printers: yellow background with (1) bacterial spot on rose & scorched grape leaf, and (2) cold injury on sago palm & anthracnose on nandina.
These magnets are distributed at various AgriLife Extension programs that a TPDDL personnel is participating as a guest or educator. They can also be obtained when visiting the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station or the Department of Plant Pathology office in the Petersen Building. Occasionally, some AgriLife Extension county agents may have some magnets to distribute.