JEFFERSON — The Jefferson County Extension Office will offer two Pesticide Applicator Training (PAT) sessions for individuals whose private pesticide applicator certification has expired or first-time applicators.

Successful completion of the training includes the state certification exam and provides individuals with their general farming private applicators certification. Certification is valid for five years.

The training sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 29 or Tuesday, Feb. 18.

All of the sessions will be held at the Extension, Jefferson County Office located at 864 Collins Road in Jefferson. Each program runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the state certification exam is taken in the afternoon.

The registration fee covers the training manual, training session, test, certification and lunch. The training manual includes suggestions on how to study for the exam and information that is important to review before attending the training session.

Registration and fee payment of $30 must be done in person at least one day prior to the training/testing date. Registrations may be done at the Extension, Jefferson County, located at 864 Collins Road in Jefferson. Telephone and mail registrations are not accepted.

If these dates and times do not fit your schedule, local Extension offices in surrounding counties also are offering programs. There also is a self-study option. However, the vast majority of applicators have indicated that the time spent in class significantly is worth it.

The Pesticide Applicator Training Course will assist individuals in learning how to handle pesticides correctly to protect themselves, co-workers, the general public and the environment from adverse effects of pesticides. The course will focus on understanding and applying Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices.

IPM is the coordinated use of multiple pest-control methods. It encourages the use of all available techniques where practical and does not rely on a single method approach.

A sound IPM program can help ensure that pesticides are applied only when necessary. IPM is based on a scientific and systematic approach.

Applicators must be familiar with the site, the pest, and all available control tactics to develop and implement an effective IPM program. The PAT program also will include a discussion of pesticides and the law, reading the pesticide label, safety and emergencies, calibrating spray equipment and other topics.

This course is offered by the UW-Madison, Division of Extension, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Other private applicator training for greenhouse and nursery, fruit crops and commercial applicator courses are offered by DATCP.

Persons who have questions or would like more information may contact the Jefferson County Extension office at (920) 674-7295.

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