Mississippi State University Extension is going further in the production of cutting-edge online training and continuing education for pesticide applicators nationwide. MSU Extension services have partnered with Certified Training Institute in the creation of a nationwide pesticide applicator training program prepared by professors, graduate students, and industry specialists. These subject matter experts present training using green screen and other video technologies which give classes a live-instructor feel. Courses are then produced and delivered to pesticide applicators and agriculture professionals across the country.
This program was initially spearheaded a little over a year ago by Pesticide Education Coordinator Gene Merkel and the Extension Program at Mississippi State University. Since its creation, course modules have been submitted to states accepting online continuing education and recertification programs across the nation. Currently, the “pilot program”, a 10-hour Core Standards Training, has been adopted by twenty-two states and completed by hundreds of students.
Mississippi State University Extension and Certified Training Institute will continue to expand current course offerings to include training for all categories over the coming years. In fact, several category-specific classes are currently in production including Insect Sampling Techniques, Agronomic Pests of Rice, Cotton, Soybeans, and Corn, Plant Pathogens, and Non-Native Wood Borers and Their Management. Course filming and production is scheduled to continue throughout the fall on topics such as Structural Pest Control, Herbicide Technology, and Commercial Turf Grass.
All courses produced by this partnership are mobile friendly, high-quality video with on-screen instructors, much like a classroom setting. However, pesticide professionals can access online training 24/7, meaning classes can be completed at their own pace. Applicators may also revisit portions of training from a phone or tablet at their own leisure, allowing for on-the-job reference.