Private Pesticide Applicator Training shifts to video teleconference, U.S. mail options
- Published: Monday, March 30, 2020
COLUMBIA, Mo. – In light of the COVID-19 situation, the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved two alternative methods for completing Private Pesticide Applicator Training (PPAT).
"We know planting has started in some parts of the state," said Missouri Pesticide Safety Education Program coordinator Lee Miller. "We want to make sure applicators have the tools they need to handle pesticides safely this spring. Farmers, applicators, consumers and our natural resources depend on users applying pesticides carefully. Pesticide safety education prevents accidents and gives the public confidence in their food supply."
Applicators have the option to receive training by attending a Zoom video teleconference or by correspondence via regular mail.
Option 1: Zoom video teleconference
MU Extension field specialists converted many in-person training events to an online format using the Zoom video teleconferencing platform. Zoom is free to use. This platform uses computer audio and a webcam for video streaming. There is a call-in number for those with limited connectivity. Applicators interested in this option need to:
• Register online at extension.missouri.edu (search for "PPAT remote training"). Choose a Private Pesticide Applicator Training offering with "Zoom Meeting" in the title. Then complete the registration, including an email address.
• Connect and participate in the Zoom meeting when it is offered.
• At the beginning of the Zoom meeting, users will need to provide an email address in the Zoom chatbox, using the same address with which they registered. This allows MU field specialists to match email addresses with online registrations.
After the Zoom meeting, certification will be completed as follows.
• The MU field specialist will mail a Private Applicator Training Certification Verification Form to the applicator.
• The applicator should fill out the form and mail (or scan and email) the form back to the extension specialist. The specialist will then sign the form and forward it to the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) for processing.
Note: MU Extension will not charge for this remote training service since there is no cost of materials.
Option 2: Regular mail
Alternatively, applicators have the option to certify or recertify by mail. For this option applicators need to:
• Order a copy of the Private Pesticide Applicator Reference Manual (extension2.missouri.edu/m87) and request (by email, phone or letter) a study guide from the nearest MU Extension office.
• Review the manual, fill out the study guide and mail the completed study guide to the extension field specialist providing the training.
After users return the materials, certification will be completed as follows:
• The MU Extension specialist will review the fully completed study guide and return it to the applicator along with the verification form.
• The applicator should fill out the verification form and mail (or scan and email) the form back to the extension specialist. The specialist will then sign the form and forward it to the MDA for processing.
The MDA has representatives available to process PPAT paperwork through this situation.
"We appreciate your understanding as we navigate through these unprecedented times," Miller said. "These new remote learning options allow us to continue to offer the high-quality training necessary for Missouri's Private Pesticide Applicator Training program."
If you have questions, please contact the nearest MU Extension office.
Writer: Ashley Craft
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