Implementation of pesticide applicator certification schools and continuing education workshops / Dennis Martin, Clayton Hurst, Lydia Calhoun.
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The Oklahoma Department of Transportation's (ODOT) herbicide applicator training program consists of initial pesticide applicator training schools, independent certification testing, sprayer calibration workshops and on-going yearly continuing education sessions. In support of this ongoing effort, three pesticide applicator initial certification schools were conducted by Oklahoma State University (OSU) extension staff in fall of 2014 to train a total of 79 ODOT participants. Seventy-six of the attendees at these workshops took the Core as well as Right-of-Way Certification exams administered by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry (ODAFF). Sixty-eight percent (52 participants) passed both the Core and Category 6 (Right-of-Way) examinations to become Oklahoma Certified Pesticide Applicators. Fourteen Pesticide Applicator Continuing Education (CEU) Workshops were conducted by OSU extension staff across a total of eight ODOT Field Divisions in 2015 to provide 642 Certified Applicators with continuing education training. Records of participation in ODAFF approved CEU programs by ODOT personnel were furnished to ODAFF as well as the ODOT Field Divisions, the Maintenance Division Headquarters and the Materials and Research Division. Participation in CEU workshops resulted in granting of CEU credit to ODOT participants in the workshops. The ODOT participants also gained knowledge on various Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) products, topics and techniques. This increase or maintained operational knowledge of the participants should insure continued effective vegetation management skills.