The Mississippi State University Extension Service serves the citizens of Mississippi in numerous ways. This service includes programs relating to 4-H, agriculture, natural resources, community resource development, and family and consumer sciences.
A specific example of the outreach provided by the MSU Extension Service is the Pesticide Safety Education Program also referred to as Private Applicator Training. The goal of the program is to help agriculture producers apply pesticides safely, economically, and in an environmentally sustainable way. The program is designed for agriculture producers that require the use of restricted pesticides to manage insects, weeds, and diseases in fruit crops, vegetable crops, row crops, and pastures.
Individuals who successfully complete the certification will demonstrate knowledge in the biology of crop pests and how to control them. Participants will demonstrate knowledge of pesticide distribution equipment and proper methods to calibrate the equipment.
Participants receiving the certification will also understand the laws and regulations that are designed to protect the environment as well as the agriculture workers. Two laws that the participants will understand include the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIRFA) and the Workers Protection Standards (WPS).
Agriculture producers will have the opportunity to complete the Pesticide Safety Education Program on Thursday, February 25, 2021. The program will be held at the MSU Extension Office in Pontotoc, which is located at 402 CJ Hardin Jr. Drive. There will be sessions held at 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Producers will only be required to attend one session to receive certification.
To comply with COVID-19 social distancing requirements, seating will be limited and participants will be asked to wear masks. Please call (662)-489-3910 to register as soon as possible to help with planning. 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 private pesticide applicator safety course can also be completed online. The online course can be completed at all times. It includes instructional videos and the certification test. The cost of the training is $20. The link to the training, as well as instructions, can be found here: http://extension.msstate.edu/content/online-private-applicator-certification-program.
The MSU Extension Service in Pontotoc County provides educational opportunities to the public in multiple areas in addition to pesticide safety education. Information on upcoming programs can be found on social media through the following links: https://www.facebook.com/PontotocCoExtension/ and https://www.facebook.com/Pontotoc-County-4-H-Club-231878987015435.