To help you meet the continuing education requirements of your pesticide applicator license or certificate, here are a few recommendations. 

Start early. Continuing education activities occur year-round across the state. In Nueces County alone, in the year 2010, 34 hours of CEUs were offered by the Nueces County Extension Office. You may not find affordable, convenient or sufficient numbers of opportunities if you wait until your license or certificate renewal deadline is near.

Monitor the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) list of approved recertification courses and training contacts. It’s available from the Certification and Training Division by calling 800-835-5832 (800-TELL-TDA). The list, along with links to Internet - accessible continuing education units (CEUs), is also posted on the TDA website at http://ceusearch.texasagriculture.gov/.  Another excellent source of CEU information is your local County Extension Agent with Texas AgriLife Extension Service.                                             

How many needed?

So what CEUs do you need to maintain your pesticide license?  For Private Applicators: 15 CEUs every five years, including a minimum of 2 in Laws and Regulations, and 2 in Integrated  Pest Management (IPM). Up to 10 CEU’s may be obtained through TDA approved home study programs, including online courses.  For Commercial and Noncommercial Applicators: 5 CEUs annually, including at least 1 CEU each in two of three special topics: Laws & Regulations, IPM, and Drift Minimization. CEUs from TDA-approved home study may be used to re-certify only every other year.  No CEU carryover is allowed as CEUs must be acquired prior to renewal. Extra CEU credit obtained in one renewal cycle cannot be forwarded and used in the next renewal cycle.

Retain your Certificates of Completion obtained from participating in CEU courses.  Although some commercial trainers may provide duplicate certificates, there is no recourse for lost certificates from the Extension Service. No single source provides cumulative tracking of all the CEUs  you acquire. It is up to the individual to keep certificates on file to be accessed if you are subject of a TDA audit.

Shortly before your license or certificate expires, you will receive an application for renewal from the Texas Department of Agriculture. Be sure to notify TDA if your address has changed. After you submit the application for renewal, your license or certificate should arrive within a few weeks. Keep your Certificates of Completion for one year following renewal.

Training and testing date

The Nueces County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service will conduct a Private Pesticide Applicator Training Monday, February 7, 2011, at the Nueces County Extension Office located in the Calderon Bldg. at 710 E Main in Robstown, Texas. The training will begin at 8:00 a.m. followed by testing administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

A Private Applicator is defined by law as a person who uses or supervises the use of a restricted-use or state-limited use pesticide for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity.

Participants in the training should secure a study manual from their local Extension office prior to the training. The study manual is $25.00.  Participants are encouraged to bring a pencil and calculator for the exam. Reviewing the study manual prior to the training and test will improve performance on the exam.  For additional information about the training contact Jeff Stapper, County Extension Agent - Agriculture & Natural Resources at (361) 767-5223.

Video CEU conference, February 9

Every year about this time my telephone starts ringing with questions about where one can get some CEUs for their pesticide applicators licenses, since they just got their renewal notices in the mail from Texas Department of Agriculture. To help meet the needs of some last minute CEU hunters, a Video CEU Course will be conducted on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, at the Nueces County Extension Office, (710 E. Main - Calderon Bldg. in Robstown, Texas) beginning at 8:30 a.m. and concluding by 4:00 p.m.  A total of 6 CEUs will be offered ( 2 Laws and Regulations, 2 IPM, and  2 General).

Individuals with disabilities, who require an auxiliary aid, service or accommodation in order to participate in any of the mentioned activities, are encouraged to contact the County Extension Office eight days before all programs for assistance.