Thursday, February 25, 2021

Online grower pesticide safety courses available

Growers who need certification to purchase and use Restricted and Commercial (Class B and C) pesticides in Ontario can take the required course online.

University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus officials say the Grower Pesticide Safety Course was first offered online in 2012 and has been updated with new information and learning activities.

The same experienced instructors who have taught classroom courses across the province are now eager to teach online.

The online course is designed to offer a classroom experience including real world examples and discussions with classmates, University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus officials say.

Growers may be happy to know there is no exam, but instead participants are graded on their responses to discussions and short quizzes within the course.

A recent participant evaluated it as a “very good, interactive course. After 10 years of spraying I learned some things that I had never considered.”

Courses run Monday to Friday, nearly every week this winter.

After a 1-hour conference call to kick-start the course on the Monday, growers can complete the course activities at their own time over the week.

As another recent participant noted, “the course was very easy to navigate and I liked how you could work at your own pace.”

Growers can learn more and signup for the course at www.opep.ca or contact the Ontario Pesticide Education Program at 1-800-652-8573 or rcopep@uoguelph.ca.

The Ontario Pesticide Education Program has offered courses since 1987. The courses focus on product information, health and environmental risk management, pesticide application and pesticide safety practices.

Currently over 22,000 growers, 1,300 vendors and nearly 300 On-Farm Instructors are certified through the program, University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus officials added.

It is supported by growers, OMAFRA, pesticide manufacturers and retailers.

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