AZDA Annual Re-certification Course Offered Online
By: Ernie Lugo, Yuma ESD
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the agriculture world keeps on turning. As an essential function, the Environmental Services continues to offer its services uninterrupted.
This includes both Central Licensing and the Compliance Section. Early in the year ESD leadership determined that there would be no extension on license renewals and no reduction on required continuing education units (CEUs). This meant that ESD would have to figure out a way to offer the Annual Re-certification Course, which yields up to 6 CEUs free of charge.
In June, AD Jack Peterson instructed the ESD Training Unit to prepare to offer the re-certification course online. ESD inspectors met and decided on topics and began working on presentations which would be submitted for approval. By late November all presentations were completed and ready to go. The training team also decided to use Google Meet as the online platform to offer the training, since state information technology officials had deemed it safe.
Over 120 participants signed up for the event. Some for only the morning or afternoon session which gave them 3 CEU’s, and others for both sessions which gave them a total of 6 CEUs.
ESD’s only previous online training experience was offering the Pesticide Safety Trainer Course, which has been given to no more than 30-35 participants at a time. In this case, with over 120 participants, it took a lot more inspectors to answer questions and monitor participants to make sure they were present (logged on) throughout the duration of each session, as required by state law.
Jack Peterson, ESD inspectors and Roberto Rios, who is a pesticide compliance consultant with the Agriculture Consultation and Training Division, offered presentations on topics such as, “Review of ESD Rule Revisions”, “Proper completion & submission of 1080’s”, “WPS Respirator Requirements”, “Restricted Use Pesticide Inspections”, “Pesticide Safety Training Following CDC Guidelines”, “WPS Requirements Review”, “Ag Water Treatment”, “Understanding the Pesticide Label”, among other topics.
Overall, the feedback we received from participants was positive. There has been internal discussions to consider offering the AZDA Annual Re-certification Course online, going forward.
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You can contact Ernie Lugo at: firstname.lastname@example.org