CAPS Resource and Collaboration Site

The Pest Detection program supports APHIS’ goal of safeguarding U.S. agricultural and environmental resources by ensuring that new introductions of harmful plant pests and diseases are detected as soon as possible, before they have a chance to cause significant damage. A strong domestic agricultural pest detection system is an essential element in providing a continuum of checks from offshore preclearance programs, domestic port inspections, and surveys in rural and urban sites across the United States. The program uses a multi-pronged strategy to accomplish its mission, involving:
  • A structured, transparent assessment process to identify pest threats,
  • Development of scientifically sound pest diagnostics and survey protocols,
  • Providing survey materials (traps, lures, etc.),
  • Conducting the actual pest surveys,
  • Timely reporting of pest survey results through an approved database,
  • Ensuring that the data collected is valid and of high quality, and
  • Notification of significant pest detections through established protocols.
These efforts are accomplished by involving stakeholders and the scientific community, and leveraging efforts by other Agencies in USDA, government entities, State departments of agriculture, universities, and industry partners. APHIS and its State cooperators carry out surveys for high-risk pests through a network of cooperators in the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) program.

The CAPS program conducts science-based national and state surveys targeted at specific exotic plant pests, diseases, and weeds identified as threats to U.S. agriculture and/or the environment. These activities are accomplished primarily under USDA funding that is provided through cooperative agreements with state departments of agriculture, universities, and other entities. Surveys conducted through the CAPS Program represent a second line of defense against the entry of harmful plant pests and weeds.

These efforts support inspections of commodities, conveyances, and passenger baggage conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at sea ports, airports, and land border crossings. The program is continuing to develop commodity-based and resource-based surveys.

These surveys enable the program to target high-risk hosts and commodities, gather data about pests specific to a commodity, and establish better baseline data about pests that were recently introduced in the United States. The mission of the CAPS program is to provide a survey profile of exotic plant pests in the United States deemed to be of regulatory significance through early detection and surveillance activities

CAPS Recognition

Individuals receive recognition from their peers and the CAPS community for being continually engaged in the CAPS Program at a high level, and for their contributions and outstanding efforts in support of the CAPS Program in their states. The CAPS Recognition pages showcase the individuals and their achievements: 2014 2010

News and Anouncements

Phytoplasma Training Resource

A phytoplasma workshop was held on August 21, 2014 for state survey coordinators, state field survey personnel, Plant Health Safeguarding Specialists, and University diagnosticians in Amherst, MA. Twenty participants attended the workshop. Sarah Grubin, MA State Survey Coordinator, and Nichole Carrier, Pest Survey Specialist CT/MA/RI coordinated the logistics of the training. Dr. Robert Davis, Research Plant Pathologist, Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, ARS presented the workshop training. Slides from the training are available on the Taxonomic Services page.


The Alaska Division of Agriculture would like to introduce Jacquelyn Schade as the new State Survey Coordinator. She was raised in Eagle River, Alaska. After high school, she attended Montana State University in Bozeman, where she acquired her Bachelor of Animal Science with a minor in Business Administration. Then she moved to Kentucky and worked in the Thoroughbred racing industry for a year. Jacquelyn moved back to Alaska in order to be closer to family and joined the Division of Agriculture as a long term-non permanent employee working on Invasive weed projects in 2012. In 2013, Jacquelyn accepted a permanent position with the Division as the Program Assistant in the Marketing section. She is excited to transition into the State Survey Coordinator position and work with the CAPS community. Jacquelyn enjoys spending time with family.

Kate Kneeland, recently appointed SSC for Nebraska, is originally from Western Washington, although she grew up on a farm in the Interior of British Columbia. After 20 years in BC, she returned to Washington, where she raised her family and worked part-time for the US Postal Service until she chose to attend college. She received both an AA and AS from Centralia College in Centralia, WA, then earned a Bachelors in Biology at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, WA. After working for 4 years at an analytical lab in Seattle, she attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she earned a PhD in Entomology. Kate is a Board Certified Entomologist and an amateur insect photographer. Besides insects, she loves family time, animals, the ocean, and taking walks.

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture Plant Industries Division would like to introduce Susan Parker as the new Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator. Susan is from Romney, WV and was raised on a large beef cattle farm that has been in her family for four generations. She is a graduate of West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture and a minor in Agricultural Business. Susan has been employed with the WVDA for 7 years and is excited for the opportunity to serve as the state survey coordinator. Susan loves spending time on the family farm and volunteering in her community.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture Plants Division would like to introduce Jeanne Ring as the new Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator. Jeanne grew up in a military family and spent most of her childhood near McChord Air Force Base in Washington State. While in high school, her family relocated to Wisconsin where her parents took over their family cattle farm. Jeanne attended Vermilion Community College in Ely, Minnesota and received her associate’s degree in Wilderness Management in 1999. She worked part time for the Forest Service in Oregon, Wyoming and Washington as a wildland firefighter and a recreation technician. In 2003, Jeanne graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana in Resource Conservation. Most recently she worked as a field inspector and education specialist for the Pierce County Noxious Weed Control Board in Washington State. She and her husband, John, have four children: Brayden 12, Lillian 10, Peyton 7 and Sophia 4. They enjoy camping, canoeing, hiking and taking care of their two dogs and two show rabbits.

Jarred Driscoll, recently appointed CAPS SSC for North Carolina, came to the CAPS program from North Carolina State University, where he was a sweetpotato breeder for the past 6 years. He was actively engaged in the Sweetpotato Breeding and Genetics Project, breeding for processing-type varieties suitable for the French fry and chipping markets. He led the project in screening new clones for resistance to the major diseases affecting sweetpotato in North Carolina. Before that, he worked at Michigan State University as a potato breeder while earning an M.S. The primary goal for both projects was to develop new varieties with increased yield, disease resistance and other attributes associated for each commodity. Jarred and his wife have two children and live, work and play in the great city of Raleigh, NC! They enjoy gardening (by default the kids enjoy weeding), camping, and biking when they have the time. Jarred is excited about his new role and looks forward to meeting everyone in the near future.

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