The objective of the Wisconsin Pesticide Applicator Training Program is to provide leadership and coordination for educating people to become certified commercial or private pesticide users and ensures that everyone has current information to protect the safety of the pesticide user and the general public.
Pesticide applications are often determined critical to protect food and crop production, protect human and animal health, protect natural habitats from invasive pests, and protect the structural integrity of buildings. This is a multi-billion dollar industry vetted to protect even much more value of produced products. This program trains over 5,500 pesticide applicators annually in the state of WI. By providing appropriate training and resources to ensure proper applications, it protects the safety of pesticide users, protects the safety of the general public near pesticide applications or consumers of products that received applications, and protects the environment from mis-applications.
The PAT program does NOT advocate pesticide use over other means of pest management, however, it focuses on the safe and proper use of pesticides by individuals who have already determined that pesticides are necessary in a given situation. The selection, use, and potential risks of pesticides vary depending on the method of application and what it is you want to protect from pests. Therefore, there is a separate training manual for 21 pest control categories, including categories for agricultural producers (farmers), the agricultural industry (10 categories), use in and around commercial and residential buildings (6 categories), use in right-of-way and surface waters (3 categories), and preserving wood. The primary training format, then, is the category-specific manual. Every applicator seeking certification receives his/her own personal copy of the manual. The manual is written and designed not only for the purpose of helping an applicator pass the certification exam, but it also serves as a reference guide throughout the applicator's 5-year certification period. Thus, the self-study method is available to all applicators. The PAT program also provides optional live training sessions in 6 major categories (see Live Sessions under the Certification tab). Cumulatively, live sessions potentially provide an opportunity for 90% of the commercial applicators statewide to receive supplemental training in conjunction with the written manual. Self-study is the only option for applicators in the remaining categories.