The goal of this program is to certify that pesticide applicators reach a minimum level of competency to properly, safely and effectively use all pesticides. The focus of this program is to maintain and improve the quality of pesticide training and certification in Louisiana. Attention is paid to environmental protection, clean water, safe food and human health. Our program also works to enhance the economy of producers and communities. These outcomes can only be accomplished with educational programs that focus on safety for pesticide applicators, their coworkers and the general public, as well as proper use of pesticides to effectively control pests. The goal of this program is to expand each of the applicators knowledge on proper pesticide usage and to provide opportunities for new applicators to be certified. <P>Approach: The focus for this next year will be to develop and improve private pesticide applicator trainings and provide more training throughout Louisiana. In order to train applicators we will develop new presentations that can be used by the county agents throughout the state to provide training.
The Louisiana AgCenter's Pesticide Safety Education Program is responsible for developing, organizing, and coordinating training (through parish and regional extension agents) that will lead to agricultural producers receiving required training. This training will allow the producers to achieve or maintain certification as licensed commercial and private pesticide applicators. The Pesticide Safety Education Program works cooperatively with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry by recommendations concerning the granting of state labels for pesticide use. The program also keeps AgCenter employees updated on pesticide rules and regulations and is available to respond to AgCenter employees questions about pesticides and their uses.
The focus of the LSU AgCenter's Pesticide Education Program is to offer high quality programs which allows for the certification and recertification of private and commercial pesticide applicators. In addition, instruction is offered in pesticide safety to Master Gardener classes, pest control technicians, and others interested in increasing their knowledge about the safe and proper use of pesticides. Information presented to these groups includes new and updated material regarding pesticides rules and regulations and reviewing the basics when it comes to the safe and effective use of pesticides. This material is presented in a live classroom format, in some cases in a hand-on environment, utilizing extension specialists from the LSU AgCenter and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, and invited guest speakers. Instruction is also given to individuals wishing to become certified in a pesticide application category: commercial and private. This is also achieved by live classroom instruction and group discussion focusing on basic concepts of pesticide safety, pesticide formulations, equipment calibration, reading and understanding the pesticide label, pesticide calculations, etc. Other methods of instruction and information dissemination include developing and updating manuals and other training materials and informing pesticide applicators and the general public of up-to-date news and materials through newsletters, the LSU AgCenter Pesticide Safety Education Website, and through social media.