Mississippi State University Extension Service’s county offices serve the citizens of Mississippi in numerous ways. These services include the instruction and administration of programs relating to 4-H, agriculture, natural resources, community resource development, and family and consumer sciences.
One of the specific services provided by county extension offices relates to education in the safe and proper use of pesticides. The purpose of the Pesticide Safety Education Program, also referred to as Private Applicator Training, is not to promote the use of pesticides, but rather to instruct agriculture producers on the proper and safe use of them.
Pesticides are an important tool for agriculture producers to profitably manage their crops. Pesticides help producers manage insects, weeds, and diseases that rob the yields from their crops.
The use of some pesticides are restricted to be used only by individuals who complete the Pesticide Safety Education Program and pass a test to become certified by the Mississippi Bureau of Plant Industry. Some pesticides are restricted due to the adverse effects on humans and the environment that can occur if they are not used properly.
Individuals who successfully complete the certification will demonstrate knowledge in the biology of crop pests and how to control them. Participants will also demonstrate knowledge of pesticide distribution equipment, as well as the proper methods to calibrate the equipment.
Participants receiving the certification will understand the laws and regulations that are designed to protect the environment as well as the workers applying the pesticides. Two laws that the participants will understand include the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIRFA) and the Workers Protection Standards (WPS).
FIRFA regulates the registration, manufacture, sale, transportation, and use of pesticides. Participants that complete the certification will understand the requirements of the law which include record keeping; that all pesticides must be used as directed by the label; that pesticide laws may vary by state; and, the penalties of not following the law. This training meets state requirements approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The WPS is intended to protect agriculture workers from exposure to pesticides and the illnesses that can result. The standards outline proper application practices and the personal protective equipment that should be used when applying pesticides.
The Pesticide Safety Education Program offered by the MSU Extension Service helps agriculture producers use pesticides in a manner to maintain the profitability of their enterprises while maintaining the health of their workers, and the environment.
This program is designed for anyone who wants to use restricted use pesticides to manage their vegetable crops, row crops, and pastures.
There are two opportunities for producers to complete the Pesticide Safety Education Program on Thursday, January 31st. There is a $20 fee for the course which covers the cost of educational materials and the certification. This fee must be paid by check or money order.
The first course will be offered at 12 noon on Thursday, January 31, followed by another program at 6:00 p.m. The program will be held at the MSU Extension Office in Pontotoc which is located at 402 CJ Hardin Jr. Drive. Please call (662) 489-3910 if you plan to attend one of the courses.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service provides educational opportunities to the public on an equal opportunity basis. Every reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities will be made. If you have a disability or impairment, please advise Extension Agent James Shannon prior to the program so that assistance can be provided for your participation during the training.