In the past, several DeKalb County farmers have received private applicator training in the safe handling of pesticides and have been certified and or re-certified every three years. This is to ensure that they are updated on safety measures as required by the Environmental Protection Agency, particularly in the use of restricted products. These farmers must have the card in hand to purchase and use these products, according to Michael Barry of the DeKalb County UT Extension Office.
The re-certification process requires viewing an hour long video of updated information and reviewing the subjects in addition to a pre-test and post-test. Once they receive the record of those having been trained, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture issues a new card to the farmer. Cards must be renewed before October 21.
There is no fee from TDS for a new card, but there is a fee of $15 for the training. Several training meetings have been scheduled over the next couple of weeks to get current cardholders re-certified. Once re-certified, the card will be good until 2014.
The re-certification classes are only available to those who have a current Private Applicator card. For those folks who have never been certified in pesticide application, they must go through the initial certification class. The initial certification video is about four hours long. The training fee is $30 and the TDA collects a $10 card fee. Anyone wishing to have this training should contact Michael Barry of the DeKalb County UT Extension Office and set up a time for the viewing and testing process.
The re-certification classes will be held at the UT Extension Office at 722 South Congress Boulevard in the new county building across the highway from Food Lion. Farmers need to attend only one of the re-certified classes. The re-certification classes will be Monday, October 10 at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.; Thursday, October 13 at 1:00 p.m.; Monday, October 17 at 1:00 p.m.; and Monday, October 17 at 6:00 p.m.
If you are planning to attend a particular class, please call and register by phone. If you need further information or would like to register to attend a re-certification class, call the Extension office at 597-4945.