Agricultural Education: Information for Students and Educators
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Virginia Department of Education currently have a Memorandum of Agreement in place which allows high school students to receive student-selected verified credits for completing the requirements for certification as either a registered technician or private pesticide applicator through a school’s agricultural education program. Similarly, there are adult education programs provided by some state agencies which provide professional training programs related to horticulture and pest management. Students enrolled in these programs could receive training and education specific to the proper use and techniques of applying pesticides. This training would include information about integrated pest management practices and pesticide safety. Upon completion of the classroom training, students would take an exam to become certified (credentialed) and thereby fulfill the educational requirements of the course.
Teachers involved in pesticide education courses which involve pesticide demonstrations or research are required to obtain certification in Category 10, Demonstration and Research Pest Control.
Why Credentialing in Career and Technical Education in Virginia?
Department of Education Fact Sheet for Credentialing Program (Commercial Applicator)
Board of Education Approved Industry Certificates, Occupational Competency Assessments, and Licensure (2011)
Young Worker Safety and Health CDC web site promoting occupational safety among young workers includes teacher resources which may be beneficial in an Agricultural Education program. Information related to potential pesticide hazards is incorporated in various resources.
Youth@Work Talking Safety -The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a curriculum which can be used by educators when discussing occupational safety and health.
Can You Dig It? A Safety and Health Guide for Young Workers in Landscaping, Greenhouses, & Nurseries (Spanish Version) –Brochure developed by the Federal Network (FedNet) for Young Worker Safety and Health and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA).
OSHA Resources for Educators, Parents and Students
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed several resources for youth which provide information about working safely in agriculture and landscaping. In both sectors, pesticides and other chemicals present risks not only to the applicators but also to other workers who handle plants or work in fields and lawns where pesticides have been applied. While the focus is often on the chemical hazards, young workers also need to be aware of other hazards presented by their work environment and the equipment used to apply pesticides.
OSHA Offers Tips on Protecting Teens from Injury in Landscaping (OSHA News Release)
Youth in Agriculture Website –This website discusses the various hazards associated with working in the agricultural industry. It also provides resources on how to prevent injuries from the various hazards.
OSHA’s Young Workers Website This web site provides workplace safety and worker health information to young workers, parents, employers and educators.
Landscaping: Plant Your Feet on Safe Ground –This OSHA website provides links to basic occupational safety information related to work in the landscaping industry.
Farm Work –This OSHA website provides links to information related to farm safety issues.
If you are an educator interested in more information about this program, contact the Office of Pesticide Services at 804-786-3798. Additional educational resources can be found on the K-12 section of this website.