Burlington--Anyone who uses restricted-use pesticides to produce agricultural commodities is required by law to be licensed to handle these chemicals. In Vermont certification involves passing a written core exam with recertification every five years.

University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets will offer a review session and written exam for pesticide applicator initial certification at two locations in April. Although geared to farmers, pest control operators, landscapers, greenhouse or nursery personnel and others who need to obtain a pesticide applicator license, licensed pesticide applicators also may attend to earn two Vermont recertification credits.

Meetings are scheduled for April 4 at VFW Post 2571, 97 South Main St., White River Junction, and April 5 at the Robert Miller Community Center, 130 Gosse Ct., Burlington. Registration is $30 if paid by March 21, $40 after that date.

Participants also will need to purchase a copy of the Northeast Pesticide Applicator Core Manual in advance. The manual, which costs $41, covers all exam topics including state and federal pesticide laws and regulations, proper handling of restricted-use pesticides, personal safety and protective equipment, equipment calibration and pest identification, among others.

Information on registration and how to purchase the manual may be found at http://pss.uvm.edu/pesp/cert.html. Anyone requiring a disability-related accommodation to attend should contact Sarah Kingsley-Richards at (802) 656-0475 by March 21.

The review session will begin at 9 a.m. with a break for lunch before the written exam, which is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Participants should bring a bag lunch or plan to buy lunch off-site.

In addition to the core exam, some individuals seeking commercial certification will need to pass specific category exams, depending on their work. These exams may be scheduled through the Vermont Agency of Agriculture by calling (802) 828-3482.

Sarah Louise Kingsley-Richards