Matt Bochat

Matt Bochat

Victoria County has about 700 pesticide applicator licenses issued from the Texas Department of Agriculture. The various license types are commercial, noncommercial and private.

License holders are required by law to receive continuing education training (CEUs) to retain their license statuses. By requiring a license or registration, TDA ensures that the licensee has met required standards for education.

Commercial and noncommercial licenses must be renewed annually. The licensee must complete 5 CEUs each year to be eligible to renew, with one credit each from two of the following categories: laws and regulations, integrated pest management and drift minimization.

Private applicator licenses and certificates are valid for five years, and the applicator must obtain 15 CEUs during that time to renew, including two credits in laws and regulations and two credits in integrated pest management.

If an applicator fails to receive the mandated CEUs, TDA has the right to revoke their license and will not approve the renewal.

Because there is a high demand for CEU opportunities in Victoria County, we have coordinated the Victoria County CEU Day. This event is an annual opportunity for pesticide license holders to obtain critical CEUs for the renewal process.

The Victoria County CEU Day will be Jan. 30 at the Victoria Educational Gardens Pavilion, 283 Bachelor Drive, located at the Victoria Regional Airport. The event will begin with registration at 7 a.m. Five hours of CEU credit – 1 hour of IPM, 2 hours of Laws and Regulations and 1 hour of General – will be given for private, commercial and noncommercial applicators. We ask that participants RSVP for the event prior to Jan. 27 by calling 361-575-4581.

The schedule for the day will begin with Stephen Biles, integrated pest management agent, who will discuss using IPM strategies for pastures and crops. Next, Greg Baker, Calhoun County extension agent, will review pesticide laws and regulations.

Additionally, Jason Ott, Nueces County extension agent, will speak on general pest identification and management.

We will continue with Megan Clayton, extension range specialist, who will discuss range and pasture management decisions. We will finish the morning session with Josh McGinty, extension agronomist, who will discuss minimizing herbicide drift in agricultural production.

During lunch, my co-worker, Gayle Bludau, county extension agent for family and community health, will conduct a Dinner Tonight demonstration.

After lunch, McGinty will review the auxin requirements for farm production as they relate to farmers who use auxin-based products. The auxin training will provide another hour of pesticide credit in the laws and regulations category. Therefore, if you stay all day, you can obtain six total hours of pesticide credit.

As you can see, it will be a very informative day packed full of useful pesticide applicator education. Make sure to get your RSVP in to my office. We look forward to seeing you at the event.

Matt Bochat is a county extension agent – Ag/Natural Resources, Victoria County Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.

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