Elizabeth Buffington, Extension Program Specialist III, Entomology
Federal and State laws require that all people who purchase and apply restricted use pesticides and any applicator that applies pesticides for hire be certified according to established standards. Iowa State University Extension develops and delivers the recertification training programs to commercial pesticide applicators across the state.
The main objective of the commercial pesticide applicator recertification program is to provide pertinent and timely information to pesticide applicators so they have the knowledge to safely and effectively apply pesticides.
Approximately 8,000 commercial pesticide applicators, from 20 different certification categories, participate in recertification training every year. Training programs are offered as live satellite broadcasts, live programs or prerecorded videos, depending on the certification category. About 35 recertification training programs are presented each year in the different categories at various venues throughout Iowa. Recertification participants are asked to fill out an evaluation following the program that assesses the value and effectiveness of the program. Details are given here on the evaluations from the 2008 Fumigation commercial continuing instructional program. The program included information on the topics of laws and regulations, protecting the public and the environment, pesticides and pesticide labels, and pests and pest management. A total of 291 commercial applicators were recertified in the fumigation category in 2008.
Short-term results measure awareness and knowledge.
Medium-term results measure behavior change.
Long-term results measure condition (i.e., new standard).
Program evaluations from 225 participants who attended the December 2, 2008 Fumigation commercial continuing instructional course are summarized here. Sixty-two percent of the people attending the course had six or more years of experience fumigating, 32% had one to five years experience, 4% had no experience in fumigation, and 2% of the participants were not actively applying fumigants. In the area of laws and regulations, 98% of the participants responded that they currently (80%) or will likely (18%) develop a fumigation management plan as a result of the program. In the area of pesticides and pesticide labels, 84% said they currently review the first aid information on the label for every fumigant used and 15% said they will likely do so in the future as a result of the program. Also related to the label, 87% of participants said they currently review the required personal protective equipment on the label for every fumigant used and 10% stated that they will do so as a result of attending the training. In the area of protecting the public and the environment, 16% of participants reported that would use gas detection equipment to verify the levels of fumigants as a result of the program, up from 70% of participants that had adopted the use of gas detection equipment prior to the program. In the area of pests and pest management, 94% of participants reported that they currently identify stored pest insects before selecting a fumigant and 5% stated that they will do so as a result of attending the training. Overall, 94% of the respondents rated the program as excellent or good.
170 Pesticide Applicator Training
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July 15, 2009
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