Weed Science Society of America recently announced that the National Stakeholder Team for Pesticide Safety Education Program Funding has created a three-year initiative to enhance the education of pesticide applicators.
The U.S. Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) has faced a variety of funding challenges in recent years, which resulted in the formation of the National Stakeholder Team last fall. WSSA is a member of this diverse team, which includes representatives from government, extension, industry, professional societies and universities.
"The Team continues to evaluate a broad range of options for strengthening PSEPs throughout the United States," notes Charles Moses, co-lead of the National Stakeholder Team, representing the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials. "This initiative is one important product of the Team's work and is now being implemented by a separate board."
Goals of the initiative include:
•Establishing a national website for training materials
•Creating more online distance education classes
•Compiling, updating and producing training materials for the national website
•Focusing appropriate time on pesticide safety in certification and recertification classes
•Increasing collaborative efforts among states to fill training material gaps
•Pursuing additional direct and indirect sustainable support for PSEPs at the state level
Initial funding for the initiative has been provided by BASF Corporation, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Crop Protection and Syngenta, and will be distributed by CropLife Foundation at the direction of the board.
The board currently includes representatives from the American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators, the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials, the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials, the Cooperative Extension Service, CropLife America, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Crop Protection, Syngenta, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Pest Management Policy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"The National Stakeholder Team, state regulatory agencies, university administrations and others will also have key support roles, where appropriate, to assist PSEPs in meeting the goals of the initiative," says Robert Magee, board co-chair and Regional Stewardship Manager, North America, DuPont Crop Protection. "Strong Pesticide Safety Education Programs throughout the U.S. benefit us all."