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Tuesday, August 4

Welcome to PACT 2015
Kevin Keaney, EPA Certification and Worker Protection Branch
Fred Strathmeyer,
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
Richard Roush, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University

GMOs in Agriculture
Richard Roush, The Pennsylvania State University

Genetically engineered crops are now grown in at least 27 countries on more than 400 million acres by at least 12 million farmers ( The primary crops used to date are glyphosate-resistant soybeans, and glyphosate- and insect-resistant corn and cotton, but virus-resistant crops and drought tolerant corn have also been commercialised.

GM cops have reduced the use of pesticides by at least 700 million pounds since 1996, with a reduction in environmental impact of about 16% compared to conventional crop cultivars. Cotton in particular has benefitted from a 70-90% reduction in insecticide use in many areas, with reduced human poisonings particularly in China and India. By substituting relatively safe herbicide applications for plowing in weed management, herbicide resistant crops have reduced CO2 emissions by cutting fuel use in tilling operations, and by encouraging reduced tillage, storing carbon more efficiently in the soil. Reduced fuel use has saved at least 18 million tons of CO2 emissions since 1996, and reduced tillage at least 200 million tons, a total equivalent of removing some 6.9 million cars from use ( However, GM crops must be used wisely to avoid the evolution of resistance in pests and weeds, as shown particularly for herbicide resistance.

Although there remains public opposition to GM crops, it is important to note that even the main scientific bodies in Europe, including the European Commission, have concluded that GMOs, are not more risky than conventional plant breeding technologies to either health or the environment.

PACT 2015 Vision: Planning for the Future Takes Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity
Andrew Thostenson, North Dakota State University

Well, here we are in Philadelphia. The planning committee is exhausted, but we’re ready to launch into several exciting days sharing the best and the brightest ideas about how to train and certify pesticide users. Our aim should be to find new and refreshing ways to tell a very familiar story. We want pesticide users to: protect themselves from undue pesticide health risks, keep the public safe, be good stewards of the environment, and of course, use pesticides when it is needful to control pests. Simple, right? Well, not really. We must be mindful that we all come to this meeting from different places, experiences, and institutions. We are regulators, educators, sales people, engineers, scientists, toxicologists, and medical professionals to name a few. Often we will share similar goals but go about them in different ways and sometimes we’ll be in tension with one another. Thus we’ll need to work diligently to communicate clearly and with good cheer. Take the next several days to focus on networking with PACT participants. Ponder what opportunities might be available to collaborate with the people you sit in sessions with, tour with, dine with, and work with on committees and associations. Lastly, the synergy of teaming with folks who share the same goal can be infectious and inspiring. The vision is that this will lead to creative solutions to very big challenges in our profession. Seize this opportunity and welcome to PACT2015.

1. EPA Update: Worker Protection Standard Regulations, Certification and Training Regulations,
and Pollinator Health
Jack Housenger, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs

Participants will hear an overview of EPA’s recent activities, especially those related to proposed changes to the Worker Protection Standard and the Certification of Pesticide Applicators rule, and efforts to improve protections for pollinators.

2. Online Curriculum Development for Pesticide Applicators: Integrating Text, Video, Fact Sheets, and Quizzes into an Engaging Lesson Plan
Jason Deveau, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs 

Airrblast sprayer operators apply pesticides to ensure the health and marketability of their crops. Their success relies on three things – an understanding of safe pesticide handling, criteria for what and when to spray, and the skills to apply pesticides effectively and efficiently. In 2008, Ontario’s airblast sprayer operators had few resources to address application skills. Operators were at different levels of ability and understanding, and their pesticide applications had variable success. In 2010, Airblast 101 was piloted in Ontario as a series of classroom-based courses to provide participants with practical tools for applying pesticides, plant growth modifiers, and foliar nutrients in a more effective, economic, and environmentally-responsible manner. Developed by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) with financial support from CropLife Canada, the content introduced a new operator to spraying, and refreshed a seasoned veteran. The course attracted a range of stakeholders including farm managers, government pesticide regulators, extension specialists, consultants and industry. The course is available as a four-hour workshop, but is also available on line at and will soon be available in a 200-page colour handbook. The information is free to anyone interested in learning more about airblast application.

3. The Goal of Pesticide Applicator Certification: Establishing Acceptable Competencies
Carol Black, Washington State University
Linda Johns, Montana Department of Agriculture

The basis for applicator certification standards are found in 40 CFR Parts 171.4 and 171.5 for commercial and private applicators respectively (1974). With the release of the proposed certification rules, now is the time to consider how EPA and states might interpret the current standards. We will present some perspectives and engage the audience in discussions about what level of detail should be addressed for certifying applicators. Where should the major emphasis be? What are some issues that CTAG and AAPSE should investigate to provide updated guidance on certification standards?

4. States' Managed Pollinator Protection Plans (MPS) and Pesticide Label Restrictions
Tom Moriarty, EPA OPP Pesticide Re-Evaluation Divison

In June, 2014 President Obama issued a memorandum calling on Federal agencies to increase and coordinate their efforts to improve bee health by developing an integrated strategy.  On May 19, 2015 the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators was released.  As part of the National Strategy, EPA has several commitments to protect honey bees and other pollinators from potential risks from pesticides.  EPA will provide a brief overview of its efforts related to pesticides and pollinator protection.

5. Tools for Training: Using Gaming to Educate and Engage Applicators
Hector Nunez-Contreras, Penn State Pesticide Education Program
Peg Shuffstall, Chazzbo Media

Pesticide Safety and Education has never really been an exciting and engaging topic but it is definitely an important and necessary activity that affects many industries and millions of individuals. Finding resources to create training materials can sometimes be a daunting task that consumes much time and money. A more efficient way is to work cooperatively and avoid replicating efforts. This presentation highlights technology that the Pesticide Education Program at The Pennsylvania State University uses to generate engaging educational games. These games can be given to a desired audience on a disc or USB memory stick to learn at their own pace. They can also work actively with Moodle or other educational interfaces by exporting them for integration into online courses or websites. The neatest feature is that the games can be integrated with Audience Response Systems to create friendly competitive educational environments. Details on how we created these resources, how they can be available for your use, and further development will be openly discussed at this session.

6. Network and Visit Exhibitors: Showcasing Tools for Engagement and Efficiencies (see Exhibitor List)

Wednesday, August 5

7. Business Planning - A Critical Strategy for Programs
Dean Herzfeld, University of Minnesota

An online business plan tool has been created and customized specifically for use by state extension PSEPs.Others involved with PSEP and Certification and Training will also find the tool of value as it can be used for multiple public sector purposes. An introduction to the tool will be followed by ways a ‘business plans’ can be useful, even essential, for building sustainable and quality public sector programs. The session will conclude with a discussion of the tool’s use via PSEP-IMI and examples of its value for PSEPs using the tool.

8. Initial Certification: A Constructive Conversation with EPA on the Proposed Changes to the Certification Rule
Kevin Keaney, Carolyn Schroeder, Richard Pont, and Michelle Arling, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs

This session will be an open discussion with EPA on issues related to the certification rule (40 CFR 171). EPA hopes to have an active and engaging conversation with state regulators, pesticide safety educators, and others interested in improving the applicator certification program.

9A. Training Potluck - Selected Dishes to Share
Rachel Maccini and Faye Cragin, University of New Hampshire

Drag N Drop Technology -- With online training and recertification becoming more popular for pesticide applicators, UNH Cooperative Extension PSEP program is actively seeking and adopting new and exciting ways to create effective and memorable learning experiences without a team of programmers. We are presently using an interactive software called Drag and Drop to add to our repertoire of options. Drag and Drop is a pointing device gesture in which the user selects a virtual object by "grabbing" it and dragging it to a different location or onto another virtual object. It’s intuitive, yet incredibly flexible. Come and listen to how New Hampshire’s PSEP program has incorporated this software into their online courses.

Kim Pope Brown, Louisiana State University

New Herbicide Technology Task Force -- With the development and anticipated launch of new herbicide technologies, we decided to develop a New Herbicide Technology Task Force. This group is made up of LSU AgCenter weed scientists, commodity specialists, agricultural consultants and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF). The goal of the task force is to foster communication between the LSU AgCenter specialists, LDAF, applicators and industry people about new herbicide technologies and issues pertaining to herbicide stewardship. This presentation will give a brief overview of some of the work that this group has done and plans to do in relation to new herbicide technologies.

Kim Pope Brown, Louisiana State University

Louisiana Pollinator Cooperative Conservation Program -- This program was formed in May 2014 to address the needs of Louisiana beekeepers and agricultural stakeholders. Currently, the program has representatives of LSU AgCenter Entomologists and other specialists, beekeepers, county agents, agricultural consultants, Louisiana Farm Bureau, NRCS, and the agrochemical industry. The mission of this group has been to foster communication among bee keepers, pesticide applicators, and agricultural producers for the purpose of preventing honeybees and pollinators from unreasonable exposure to pesticides through education and stewardship recommendations in the state of Louisiana. This presentation will give a brief overview of the work that this group has done and plans to do in relation to pollinator protection.

9B. Collecting Recertification Attendance: Experiences with Barcoding and Bubble Sheets
Renee Woody, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Electronic Attendance Roster Collection in North Carolina - Two methods will be discussed: 1) the license barcode scanning database program including development history, components, roster examples, benefits, drawbacks, and future alternatives; and 2) the online roster submission program including components, IT involvement, security, benefits, and drawbacks. 

Valerie Mitchell, South Dakota Department of Agriculture

The Use of WASP Barcode Technology in South Dakota - The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) has used WASP barcode technology, since around 2007, to scan the individual barcode of each commercial applicator that checks-in at each re-certification class.Commercial applicators are reminded (via postcards with their barcode printed on it) to be sure to bring either the postcard or their license (which also has their barcode printed on it) to class for check-in.[Note: When neither is brought to class, the applicator’s name can manually be entered into the system.] Once the first session of the class begins, an attendance sheet is printed out. After the final session of the class is complete, applicators must manually sign out (next to their name on the printed sheet) in order to confirm attendance at the entire class. Back at the office each category, earned by attendance at the re-certification class, is imported electronically into each applicator’s certification record in the S.D. Commercial Applicator Test System (CATS).

Lindsey Moses, Washington State Department of Agriculture

Three Methods of Verifying Attendance in Washington -- Washington State Department of Agriculture currently implements three different methods of verifying attendance at recertification courses. These include barcoding, certificate stamping, and sign-in sheets. Barcoding is our newest method, which was adopted in 2011. Each method that we use has its own advantages and disadvantages, and there are multiple factors that we take into consideration when selecting which method to use for any particular course. While no one method works for every situation, the ability to choose the option that best suites each specific course has allowed our state to efficiently and accurately track attendance at recertification courses.

10A. Evaluating Private Applicator Training
Tana Haugen-Brown, University of Minnesota

Minnesota PSEP conducted a follow-up evaluation of its private recertification workshop participants for three years (2011-13). The questionnaire tool measured workshop educational outcomes and value for the learner. A companion project paired with the evaluation was TurningPoint response questions asked of participants during private recertification workshops.

This session will share the evaluation instrument used, how it was used, some of the data collected, and what we did as a result of the findings to both improve future workshops and demonstrate the value of MN PSEP to internal and external stakeholders. A major focus of the session will be how the instrument could be adapted for others to use as well as some of the challenges and issues in creating and using it.

10B. Recertification Approval for Online Delivery: Traditional, Webinar, Google Hangout, etc.
Laurie Gordon, Oregon Department of Agriculture

What are the challenges to approving non-traditional recertification methods such as FaceTime, Google Hangout, Skype, etc.? Can we meet the challenges to change with technology? This session will include a presentation on the results of a survey of states followed by an open discussion on the issues.

11A. Take Home Presentation: Effectively Cleaning Sprayer Tanks of Residues
Fred Whitford, Purdue University
Ples Spradley, University of Arkansas
Thia Walker, Colorado State University

Crop damage can be prevented by taking the time to clean and flush the entire sprayer system—tank, hoses, screens, booms, and nozzles. The most common mistake made is when the applicator arbitrarily decides to short-change a few of the steps in cleaning the sprayer tank, screens, hoses, and booms. Saving a few minutes by taking short cuts during the cleanout process can almost guarantee that more time will be spent in the long run resolving contamination issues. It is usually much smarter to spend the time to do it right the first time. This presentation discusses and describes the proper procedures to remove unwanted residues and prevent the unintentional introduction of herbicides to sensitive or non-labeled crops. A PowerPoint presentation and new publication called “Removing Herbicide Residues from Agricultural Application Equipment: How Proper Cleaning Helps Prevent Crop Damage and Improves Performance” will be distributed to all state pesticide coordinators and to all registered 2015 PACT attendees.

11B. Certification Potluck - Selected Dishes to Share
Laurie Gordon, Oregon Department of Agriculture
Results of an Aerial Applicator Survey -- The Oregon Department of Agriculture conducted a survey of the states on aerial application licenses in the anticipation new legislation being introduced during the legislative session.

Vicki Rengers, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Making Computerized Exams Efficient and Secure - Pesticide businesses are always in need of getting individuals trained and certified as quickly as possible. I will cover the cost and process of Virginia taking advantage of the Division of Motor Vehicle’s driving test system to give pesticide applicants the most efficient and secure way to take computerized exams to become certified.

Derrick Lastinger, Georgia Department of Agriculture
Keeping Recertification Rules Updated with Technology - Georgia recently amended their recertification rule for structural pest control applicators.  This session will discuss ways to keep these rules updated with current technology.  Along with the rule, new policy and compliance monitoring of distance learning will be shared. 

12. Spanish Issues for Certification and Training Programs
Brian Verhougstraete, Michigan Department of Agriculture
Robin Schoen-Nessa
, Washington State Department of Agriculture
Jennifer Weber, Arizona Department of Agriculture
Becky Maguire, Washington State University

Hear from your colleagues who have considered using Spanish in certification exams, and applicator and WPS training programs. Learn what has worked, what has been difficult, and why some states have chosen not to offer exams and/or training in Spanish. Panelists will share their experiences and allow ample time for questions and discussions.

13. Adult Learning: Considerations for Certification Exams and Applicator Training
Dr. Sandy Bell, University of Connecticut

The science of how adults learn and adopt new behaviors has grown in leaps and bounds over the past decade. We have a better understanding of the powerful role that emotions play in learning, how the brain prepares to learn new things, and why acquiring new information often has little impact on changing behaviors. In this interactive session, we will explore the implications these discoveries have for enhancing your certification and training programs.

Thursday, August 6

14. Recertification: A Constructive Conversation with EPA on the Proposed Changes to the Certification Rule
Kevin Keaney, Carolyn Schroeder, Richard Pont, and Michelle Arling, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs

This session will be an open discussion with EPA on issues related to the certification rule (40 CFR 171). EPA hopes to have an active and engaging conversation with state regulators, pesticide safety educators, and others interested in improving the applicator certification program.

15. Facilitating and Managing Online Recertification for State Lead Agency Approval and Reporting

Perry Cervantes, Texas Department of Agriculture

Testing: To Outsource or Not to Outsource?  The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) historically administered exams in 5 regional offices with all testing proctored by TDA office staff or TDA pesticide inspectors using Scantron and hard copy exams. Due to budget cuts, pesticide inspectors' numbers went from 45 to 22 so the TDA investigated outsourcing test administration. A testing contract for public bid included services such as computer based exams, 24 hour registration availability, at least 20 test centers across the 5 regions, ability to shuffle questions, use photos for ID questions, provide exam reports, use photo ID for proof of examination, and provide grades electronically to the department to name a few.

Acceptance by the public was slow but gradually increased. The availability of testing locations 5 days a week versus once or twice a month appealed to the commercial and noncommercial sector of accounts. The private applicator has accepted the process but not as smoothly as the commercial/noncommercial sector. The result of outsourcing examinations allowed inspectors time to conduct quality inspections and complaint investigations. The pesticide program uses the exam reports to create quality questions to truly test the competency of its applicators. The contracted company also provided the ability to test at their out of state locations which has assisted our aerial applicators to test without having to travel to Texas.

Wendy Sue Sheeler, Washington State University

Washington State University Internet recertification courses provide certified applicators with 24/7 access. Our system includes a course Shopping Center (abstracts, state approvals, pricing, payments), Adobe Connect Training Center (courses, modules) and a Reporting System (WSU programmed). When a course is purchased, Adobe Connect and the Reporting System are populated. Once a course is completed, its completion status is reported in the Reporting System. Monthly, we pull and verify each state’s report and submit it to the respective state lead agency. In 2014, 2,426 courses were sold with revenue of $36,390 and a fixed computer support cost of $3,000. The courses finally fund their management, but it took many years to do so. Yearly tasks include: building new content, updating existing content, module technical issues, managing clients (incorrect email when purchased, password trouble, last minute people desperately needing credit), seeking approval in states for accreditation, setting up the database, and populating the courses. We have 35 courses that are approved in 15 states. State approval and reports are the most time-consuming issue. We need to discuss the “cost/benefit” of offering in states outside our region due to the cumbersome and varied approval process and the varied reporting processes. We have found the approval scrutiny interesting for a one hour course versus our 12 hour face-to-face courses agendas. Applicators are very appreciative to have the offerings, especially those who only need a few credits. They have the flexibility of when to take the courses, there is no travel required, and for those certified in multiple states they get credits in multiple states with one sitting.

Laurie Gordon, Oregon Department of Agriculture

Online courses are being utilized more and more for pesticide training - but how do you confirm that course attendees are in front of the computer and learning? Laurie Gordon, from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, will discuss the process and requirements for the approval of online-based pesticide recertification courses in Oregon.

16A. Sticky Note Discussions -

This is a 50-minute session devoted to a suggested topic made during the PACT workshop. Take a sticky note and write down a topic you would like to have an open forum for discussion. The planning committee will review and select one topic and assign a facilitator and notetaker. This is the time for discussion of some hot topics for you.

16B. Sticky Note Discussions

This is a 50-minute session devoted to a suggested topic made during the PACT workshop. Take a sticky note and write down a topic you would like to have an open forum for discussion. The planning committee will review and select one topic and assign a facilitator and notetaker. This is the time for discussion of some hot topics for you.

17. Supervision Standards: A Constructive Conversation with EPA on the Proposed Changes to the Certification Rule
Kevin Keaney, Carolyn Schroeder, Richard Pont, and Michelle Arling, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs

This session will be an open discussion with EPA on issues related to the certification rule (40 CFR 171). EPA hopes to have an active and engaging conversation with state regulators, pesticide safety educators, and others interested in improving the applicator certification program.