Michigan begins oral exams for pesticide certification
Pesticide applicator training is a lot different this spring for Michigan farmers.
Brian Verhougstraete with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says the COVID-19 restrictions forced them to move away from the classroom-style test. He says, “We’ve had to shut down all of our exam sessions which leads producers and other folks that need to get certified in kind of a bad situation where they need to get certified.”
Verhougstraete tells Brownfield Michigan is allowing a one-on-one test for farmers and other private applicators this year. “What we’ve done is put together a process that allows the applicators to give us a call and schedule a time where one of our inspectors can get back with them and actually administer the exam, although in a slightly abbreviated version of the exam, over the phone.”
Verhougstraete says documents are handled by email or regular mail, and it takes a little longer to get someone certified. He says the department is working on a backup plan to help certify commercial applicators as well.