Farmers who have private pesticide applicator permits that expire on March 1, 2013 will be getting postcards from Minnesota Department of Agriculture and a flyer about renewal workshop dates and locations from University of Minnesota Extension.
Farmers with permits that expired on March 1, 2013 will be able to renew the permits by one of three options: 1) attending a renewal workshop conducted by U-M Extension, 2) working through a written test available from most U-M Extension County Offices, or 3) taking the test on-line at www.pat.umn.edu.
The online test will be available by January 3.
People who are applying for the permit for the first time and people who let the permit expire in a year prior to March 1 need to take either the written test or the on-line test.
Test materials will be available at county Extension Offices by January 3. If you wish to pick up materials, please call first to ensure that they are there. Or, check to see if your county office will mail a manual. Some do that if you pay postage in advance. The study manual, which was revised last year, is available for $10. The study manual also may be viewed online.
U-M Extension workshop flyers list meetings for various regions across the states. You may find one closer to you that your county office. Please call the Extension farm information line at 1-800-232-9077 to find out about all workshop sites.
The year 2013 is the beginning of a new three-year workshop cycle. There will be some review of laws and rules. However, most of the material should be different. Discussion will focus on applicator safety, farm family safety, overall farm safety; pesticide effectiveness for crops; food chain safety; and environmental safety.
Here is a partial list of workshop sites:
* Litchfield, Tuesday, January 22, 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Meeker County Courthouse.
* Holdingford, Thursday, January 24, City Hall, 10:30 to 2:30 p.m. Bring a $5 donation for pizza or bring a lunch.
* Little Falls, Tuesday, January 29, Morrison County Government Center, 10:30 to 2:30. Bring a $5 donation for pizza or bring a lunch.
* Belgrade, Thursday, January 31, VFW, 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. Hosted by Belgrade Cooperative.
* Buffalo, Thursday, February 7, 9 to 12:30 p.m., Wright County Courthouse.
* Foley, Tuesday, February 12, at Henry's Catering, 12:30 to 4:00 p.m.
* Sauk Centre, Friday, February 15, Gerard's Dining and Sports Bar,12:30 to 4:00 p.m., hosted by Crop Production Services.
* Coldspring, Wednesday, February 20, Cold Spring American Legion, 12:30 to 4:00 p.m., hosted by the Cold Spring Cooperative Creamery Association.
You can find a listing of all workshops here.