The “Award of Merit” was presented to Ken Ayars, Chief of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM)’s Division of Agriculture by the Rhode Island Nursery & Landscape Association (RINLA). Jean Cotta, co-owner of Portsmouth Nursery in Portsmouth, RI, presented the “Award of Merit” to Chief Ayars at the 2013 RINLA Winter Conference held at URI.
A Rhode Island resident since 1972, Ayars has graduated from the University of Rhode Island earning BS in Zoology and Plant Sciences. In 1985, he earned a Master’s degree in Plant Sciences with a focus on Agronomy. Since 1987, Ayars has worked at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) in the Division of Agriculture. He has worked on a variety of programs including animal health, pesticides, land protection and farm ecology. [Learn more here]