Virginia Extension Agents Recognized

12/23/2012 6:45 PM

Recently the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) recognized three individuals or teams for their outstanding participation in the 2011 Pesticide Safety Education Program. First Place Award went to the Central Virginia Commercial Pesticide Applicator Recertification Training Team for their efforts in helping commercial pesticide applicators pass their recertification exams. The Second Place Award went to a team from Northern, Central and Tidewater Virginia who helped applicators pass their registered technician, core, category and private applicator exams. Third Place went to an individual, Janet Spencer from Isle of Wight County, who identified a need for late and last minute applicator certification.

The Central Virginia Commercial Pesticide Applicator Recertification Training Team received the first place award for Pesticide Safety Education. The team included:Kevin Camm, Lynchburg; Bruce Jones, Appomattox; Todd Scott, Campbell; Scott Baker, Bedford; Stuart Sutphin, Danville; Melanie Barrow, Henry; Jason Fisher, Halifax; Pat Hipkins, Virginia Tech; Lloyd Hipkins, Virginia Tech; Billy Hughes, Amherst and Richard Jones, VDACS.

These agents provided timely recertification and outreach to a variety of industries. They changed their venue to allow for improved presentation methods, technology and a more comfortable space for the large number of attendees. They incorporated breakout sessions which allowed an opportunity to divide the more than 100 attendees into much smaller, interactive groups.

With the use of smaller groups, they were able to conduct hands-on activities and demonstrations. This method allowed the participants to have greater access and interaction with the presenters, thus enhancing the quality of the program. One reviewer wrote, “There is no question that this is one of the most incredible work efforts and impacts we have seen over the years in pesticide safety education by agents in Virginia”.

The second place award went to agents who recognized the need for a formal training program to prepare applicators to pass the registered technician, core, category and private applicator exams for certification. The team consisted of Karen Carter, Henrico; Debbie Dillion, Loudoun; Mike Likins, Chesterfield; Dan Nortman, York; Lisa Sanderson, Henrico and Robert Christian, VDACS.

These instructors used a variety of teaching methods to prepare the attendees for their exams, including PowerPoint presentations, personal experiences, audience participation, etc.

One of the reviewers wrote, “This was a stellar effort over two days to provide the industry training to prepare applicators to pass the core, category, registered technician and private applicator exams.” Success of this program was demonstrated by the number of applicators who passed their certification exams.”

The third place award went to Janet Spencer, Isle of Wight County, an agent who identified a need for late and last-minute applicator certification and took on the challenge of putting on several programs to meet this need.

In addition to the Pesticide Safety Education Program, VDACS recognized other individuals for their participation in the Container Recycling and the Pesticide Disposal Program.

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