Tadhgh Rainey had a college degree but didn’t really know what he wanted to do career-wise. That is until he began his internship at the Snyder Research and Extension Farm.
On the farm he helped coordinate a black fly control project combating biting “gnats” which are a nuisance pest, decrease enjoyment of outdoor and recreation activities, and even cause welts on sensitive residents and children living in affected areas. Tadhgh recruited and trained college students to use Integrated Pest Management techniques to monitor the “gnat” populations. A few months into his internship Tadhgh realized exactly what he wanted. So, it was back to Rutgers for a Masters Degree in Entomology, and then on to his chosen career as Division Director of Mosquito and Vector Control for Hunterdon County Health Department.
Tadhgh’s enthusiasm for his work is evident whether he’s taking the war to the enemy – mosquito larvae in the case of West Nile Virus – as he treks through woodland swamps, or spreading the word on TV and radio about how the public can help to control insect vectors. His passion is to protect public health by studying and controlling ticks that can transmit Lyme disease, flies, mosquitoes, and other insects so they won’t become nuisance pests or vectors transmitting diseases to residents and agricultural animals.
“The Snyder Farm internship steered me directly into my career.” Today, Tadhgh continues his relationship with Rutgers by incorporating current Snyder farm summer interns into his public health vector monitoring programs.
Education: Masters Degree in Entomology
Hometown: Atco, NJ
Internship: Snyder Research and Extension Farm
Position After Graduation: Division Director, Mosquito and Vector Control for Hunterdon Co. Health Department, NJ