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Extension Offices serve as drop-off points for mystery seed packages

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System is partnering with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries to assist in collecting unsolicited seed packages being sent to Alabama residents from China.

The packages often indicate that they contain jewelry rather than seeds. ADAI field inspectors are collecting these seed packages to test their contents for unknown compounds, noxious weed seed and invasive species.

 Gary Lemme, Alabama Extension director, said each county Extension office will serve as a drop-off point for residents who have received these mystery packages containing seeds.

The Franklin County Extension is located in the basement of the Franklin County Courthouse in Russellville.

“This partnership will allow inspectors at ADAI to process the seed samples more quickly,” Lemme said. “Alabama Extension is proud to take part in this process to continue serving Alabama residents.”

 Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate said, “We appreciate Extension’s offer to assist our department by providing a designated drop-off point in each county. We will continue to collect packages as along as we receive reports that they are being delivered to Alabama citizens.”

According to the ADAI, those who have received unsolicited seed packages should not open the package containing the seeds or plant the seeds. Deliver these packages to the county Extension office unopened, and professionals at that office will assist in filling out the ADAI Unsolicited Seed Package Report.