University of Vermont

 Untitled Document

Vermont IPM: Integrated Pest Management for Vermont
“Vermont IPM Extension Implementation Program: 2017-2020”


Priority Area: IPM Education for Pesticide Applicators

Click here for the Pesticide Education and Safety Program website

 


Vermont is a small state with 1200 certified pesticide applicators. The UVM Pesticide Education and Safety Program (PSEP) works closely with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture to provide training and education opportunities for private, commercial and non-commercial applicators through a variety of workshops, newsletters and meetings. Since the USDA certification and training funding has been infrequent and minimal, the UVM PSEP has relied solely on the Croplife Foundation grant ($85,000/3 years-ends 2017), some Extension base funding (~.1 FTE of Hazelrigg salary) in addition to about $3,000 each year from workshop registration fees to fund pesticide education and training in recent years. Although we are exploring external funding opportunities through our work on the CropLife grant, we currently receive no funding from the state lead agency. This lack of funding and the unknown future of Federal funding has impacted pesticide safety and training programs in the state and has eroded initiatives to develop new programs. One of the goals of the CropLife Foundation grant is to develop a business plan including a ‘SWOT’ (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. Through this work, we have identified an opportunity for new sources of revenue by offering online education for applicators to earn pesticide recertification credits. Vermont applicators have expressed enthusiasm for this training option since it does not require attending an off-site meeting. This idea for online training has been discussed with the state lead agency and they have expressed interest in working with us to pursue this new outreach option.


Approach  - 

1. Online Education for Pesticide Applicators with factsheets-We propose to develop at least three hour-long trainings based on one of the key directives developed by the 2017 VT Pollinator Protection Committee (see IPM for Pollinator Health section) “to provide essential education and outreach on pollinator health to key stakeholders including pesticide applicators, pesticide dealers, farmers and local, state and federal government land managers”. The content of the three online trainings will address IPM and pollinator health targeted for pesticide applicators in apple orchards, in blueberries and for applicators in the nursery/greenhouse ornamentals industry. The hour long training would be worth one pesticide recertification credit. We would use a webinar platform where the content could be accessed by applicators across the state either live with questions and discussion or as archived materials on the UVM PSEP website through a password-protected page. These trainings would also be worth recertification credits in other New England states since there is reciprocity. We could also offer the information on the national PSEP shared website to be used in other states outside New England. In Year 1 we would develop course materials and work with the state lead agency to develop methods and protocols to validate course attendees. We would offer the trainings in Years 2 and 3. Three factsheets will be developed for apple growers, blueberry growers and nursery/greenhouse operators on the course content for distribution at annual grower meetings and workshops and will also be posted online on the UVM Fruit, VT Vegetable and Berry Growers and the Greenhouse IPM websites. One factsheet will be developed for the MG program and consumer audience to address the use of pesticides to protect pollinators in the home garden and landscape. These will be distributed by Master Gardener volunteers at fairs, workshops, farmers markets and posted to the MG website.


Last modified October 02 2017 11:47 AM

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