pesticide education

The UVM Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) works closely with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets to provide training and education resources for current and prospective pesticide applicators, ensuring proper and legal use of pesticides that reduces potential risk to human health and the environment.


According to the law, a pesticide is any substance "intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest." This includes insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides, natural and biological pesticides, repellents, disinfectants, and others. (NPIC)


Current Topic: 2024 Certification Meetings

PSEP training in classroom

Initial Pesticide Certification Meeting: Review of the Northeast CORE Manual followed by the Vermont Pesticide Applicator CORE Exam for new applicators (no recertification credit).

Can't attend the meetings? See our Online Courses for additional training and recertification credit options.

Archive Topic: New Rules

  • Currently certified applicators must now follow the new rules.
  • CORE manual inserts required for study have changed. If you have a manual please swap out the inserts to avoid confusion. The current manual is the Northeast CORE Manual 3rd edition; older manuals and inserts are no longer valid and can be recycled.
  • New Rules | New Inserts

Archive Topic: Pest Management Questions?


Honeybee on apple blossom

Anyone in the state of Vermont who uses, supervises, recommends, or sells pesticides and/or trains Worker Protection Standard handlers/workers may be required to take and pass the CORE exam and all appropriate category exams to become certified. Certification is administered by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets to ensure that pesticides are used in a proper and legal manner.

Do I Need to be Certified? flowchart (PDF)

Which Certification do I Need? flowchart (PDF)

How Do I Become Certified? (PDF)

Purchase Certification Manuals and Download Inserts (VAAFM)

Online Training and Recertification Courses

Orange caterpillar on grape vine

Resources to help study for pesticide applicator exams and/or to provide recertification credits for certified pesticide applicators. Open to the general public and certified pesticide applicators throughout the Northeast.

Go to online courses overview

Presented by University of Vermont Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.

CORE Training

CORE manual cover

Resources to help study for the Vermont Pesticide Applicator CORE exam. These materials are NOT intended as a substitute for study of the manual and inserts.

CORE Manual Review Online Course (eXtension Campus)

Log in as guest to see course description. eXtension Campus requires you to create a free account to enroll in courses. Part of the national Cooperative Extension System. Preview eXtension Campus courses here.


Initial Pesticide Certification Meeting: Review of the Northeast CORE Manual followed by the Vermont Pesticide Applicator CORE Exam for new applicators. *No recertification credit*

PLEASE NOTE: The "CORE Manual Review Online Course" contains the same material as the in-person review (see online courses link above).

CORE manual details

The Northeast CORE Manual 3rd edition is an excellent introductory resource that covers information about pesticides, the health and environmental risks they pose, safety precautions which reduce those risks, proper use and handling of pesticides, and pesticide laws and regulations.  Understanding of the manual material is necessary to pass the Vermont Pesticide Applicator CORE exam.

Chapter 1. Some basics
Chapter 2. Pests
Chapter 3. Pesticides
Chapter 4. Formulations
Chapter 5. Pesticide exposure and risk
Chapter 6. The toxicity of pesticides
Chapter 7. Protecting yourself
Chapter 8. Responding to a pesticide exposure
Chapter 9. Heat stress
Chapter 10. Fate of pesticides in the environment
Chapter 11. Pesticides and water
Chapter 12. Pesticide resistance
Chapter 13. Principles of pest management
Chapter 14. Federal pesticide laws and regulations
Chapter 15. Pesticide residue and tolerance
Chapter 16. State laws and regulations (including inserts) *updated April 2023*
Chapter 17. Storing pesticides
Chapter 18. Transporting pesticides
Chapter 19. Pesticide security
Chapter 20. Emergency planning and response
Chapter 21. Application methods and equipment
Chapter 22. Pesticide drift
Chapter 23. Application safety
Chapter 24. Equipment calibration
Chapter 25. Calculations for mixing and loading pesticides
Chapter 26. Mixing and loading
Chapter 27. Managing pesticide wastes
Chapter 28. The pesticide label
Chapter 29. Professional conduct and liability

Other Pesticide Training

Bumblebee on red flower

Pesticide Recertification Course Locator (USA Plants)

Online Courses for recertification credit (eXtension Campus)

eXtension Campus requires you to create a free account to enroll in courses. Your participation in courses will be recorded and any recertification credits will be tied to your account. Part of the national Cooperative Extension System.

Meeting Archive & Presentations

2024 Vermont Pesticide Applicator Meeting -details
-VT Certification & Training Update
-Frequently Asked Questions for Pesticide Applicators about Section 5.04 Protection of Bees
2023 Vermont Pesticide Applicator Meeting -details
-Updated Vermont Rule for Control of Pesticides
-Mixing Order Handout
-Water Quality:
-Compatibility and Mixing:
-Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for Commercial Pesticide Handling Establishments
-The WPS Respirator Guide:
2022 Commercial Applicator Meeting -details
-US EPA Paraquat Dichloride
-Ag Container Recycling Program Summary
-Reducing Pesticide Risk to Pollinators in Pest Management
2021 Commercial Applicator Meeting -details
-Dicamba training deck:
-Training links:
-Webinar: Wednesday 3/31/2021 at 10:00 AM
-Diagnosing Crop Problems in the Field
2019 Commercial Applicators Meeting -details
-Evaluation of neonicotinoid seed treatments in the environment
-Precision weed management
-Current understanding of glyphosate's risk profile
-Understanding the development of cancer for pesticide applicators and handlers
-VT Agency of Agriculture's groundwater monitoring program
-Termination of cover crops

Conducting a Training?

Request for Pesticide Course Recertification Credit Assignment (USAPlants)

The Pesticide Applicator

Newsletter cover page

Newsletter published by University of Vermont Extension and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets for Vermont's pesticide applicators. Includes mail-in quizes for pesticide recertification credits.

Current Report (PDF)

Report Archive with Article Index

Fall 2023
-Going digital in 2024!
-Get a Jump on Jumping Worm
-Finding What You Need
-Back to Basics CORE Essentials: Pesticide Review
-Recycling Pesticide Containers in Vermont
-Helpful Contacts
-Pollinators and Pesticides CORE manual insert

Spring 2023
-ID & Removal of Rare Invasive Stiltgrass in VT
-NEW Pesticide Rules!! How Does this Updated Rule Affect You?
-The Worker Protection Standard (WPS)
-Biological Plant & Pest Management Products Overview
-Helpful Contacts

Fall 2022
-Spotlight on Invasive Spotted Lanternfly
-Common Pesticide Enforcement Action Violations
-Basic Turf Integrated Pest Management
-Grass Pasture Weed Management
-Personal Protective Equipment Selection & Maintenance
-Helpful Contacts

Spring 2022
-Bat Ticks found in Vermont for the First Time
-Identification and Removal of Rare Invasive Giant Hogweed in VT
-Reading the Pesticide Label Correctly
-Pesticide Container Recycling
-PAR Evaluation Results
-Helpful Contacts

Fall 2021
-Vermont Wildlife Trapping Regulations
-Requirements for the Use of All Paraquat Products
-Protecting Ash Trees from Emerald Ash Borer
-Pesticide Storage
-Helpful Contacts

Spring 2021
-Growing Hemp in Vermont
-Worker Protection Standard (WPS)
-Pesticide Applicator Certification in Vermont
-Updated Certification and Training Requirements
-Application Exclusion Zone (AEZ)
-Pesticide Mix Water Quality
-Helpful Contacts

Fall 2020
-New Certification Category
-The World of Antimicrobial Products
-Pesticide Exams During COVID
-Drift and Volatility
-Summer Recap
-Cleaning and Winterizing Equipment
-Pesticide License Renewals
-What’s Happening at VAAFM
-Helpful Contacts

Spring 2020
-The Buzz on Neonicotinoids in Vermont
-Pesticide Spill Prevention and Planning & Pesticide Spill Management
-Pesticide Record Keeping
-New Beech Disease to Look Out For
-New Online Courses
-Helpful Contacts

Fall 2019
-Reporting Pesticide Usage
-Pesticide Formulations
-Cleaning & Winterizing Pesticide Application Equipment
-New Online Courses
-Helpful Contacts

Spring 2019
-Navigating the Vermont Agency of Agriculture Pesticide Program & the UVM Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program websites
-“Nearly No Math” Calibration and Pesticide Mixing: Boom & Hand Sprayers
-A review of Pests and Diseases: Summer 2018
-Helpful Contacts
-New Online Courses
-Practical Math for Pesticide Applicator

Fall 2018
-Categories of Confusion
-Things to Know About Personal Protective Equipment BEFORE You Handle A Pesticide
-Preventing Surface Water and Groundwater Contamination by Pesticides
-Helpful Contacts for Pesticide Applicators

Spring 2018
-The Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus plenipennis, in Vermont: Tree Treatment
-The New Worker Protection Standard
-Safe Storage of Pesticides
-Pesticide Storage Checklist
-Helpful Contacts for Pesticide Applicators

Fall 2017
-Pesticide Formulations
-Comings and Goings

Spring 2017
-Educating Your Clients about Their Obligation to Follow the Pesticide Label
-Understanding the Pesticide Label
-Updates at the Agency
-Calibration of pesticide sprayers

Spring 2016
-Pesticide Record Keeping
-Agency Updates
-State registration of Reflex™ on pumpkins
-Hot topic: mosquitoes
-Mosquito prevention tips
-IPM-a practical approach to pest management

Fall 2015
-Pollinator Protection Update
-Worker Protection Standard: a review & expected changes
-Agency Updates
-Vermont Pesticide Classification and Certification Matrix
-EPA Certification & Training Rule Update
-Common Problems seen in the Plant Diagnostic Clinic in the 2015 Growing Season

Winter 2014-2015
-EPA Launches Drift Reduction Technologies Program
-Pesticide Applicator & Company License Renewals
-Staff Changes at the Agency
-Pesticide Regulation Revisions
-Notes from the field (or forest)
-Brattleboro Test Site Moved
-Tier II reporting
-Drift management
-Invasive Pest Alert: Spotted Lanternfly
-Chemical Resistant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Fall 2013
-Concern over Possible Increase in Use of Synthetic Auxin Herbicides and Drift
-Pesticides and Water
-Pesticide Formulations
-Protection of our Pollinators
-The New US EPA Bee Advisory Box

Spring 2013
-Agency Responds to Persistent Herbicides in Compost
-Nursery Rule Amendment
-Pesticide Resistance
-Worker Protection Standard (WPS) in Forests
-Applying Pesticides in Hot Weather

Fall 2012
-New Core Manual Available
-End of Season Pesticide Storage
-Are you labeling your Pesticide Service Containers?
-Considerations for Avoiding Off Target Movement of Pesticides

Spring 2012
-EPA Launches Beg Bug Information Clearinghouse
-Play it Safe: Maintain and Fit Test Your Cartridge Respirators
-EPA’s Rodenticide Mitigation Decision Revision
-Reducing Your Exposure When Others Use Pesticides

Fall 2011
-Safe Transportation of Pesticides and Spill Cleanup
-New Law Affecting Lawn Care Professionals
-Maneb Tolerances are Expiring
-EPA Pesticide Container Rules Take Effect
-Update on DuPont’s Imprelis Herbicide
-Plan Today for Tomorrows Flood – Keeping Pesticide Storage Facilities Safe

Spring 2011
-Pending Changes in the Legal Status of Little Brown Bats in Vermont
-Spray Adjuvants
-Reminder to All Applicators
-Plant Diseases 101
-Grub Management

Fall 2010
-6th Circuit Court / NPDES Permit Issue
-Back to Backpack Sprayer School
-Another Way to Calibrate a Backpack Sprayer
-Converting Pesticide Rates into Practical Amounts
-Web Distributed Labeling
-New Hire
-Nutrient Deficiencies in Plants
-Oriental Beetle Grubs in Vermont

Spring 2010
-Prevent Birds from Pulling your Corn Seedlings
-Pesticide Program Presents Provocative PC Presence
-Reducing Surface Water Quality Impacts from Landscape Pest Control Applications
-Late Blight - A Review of Last Season and New Outbreaks Found in PA, MD and LA
-Injury to Landscape Plants from Turf Herbicide Exposure
-Table {Characteristics of Common Turfgrass Herbicides}

Fall 2009
-EPA Orders Chemical Testing for Hormone Effects
-The Label and the Applicator Pesticide Enforcement Update
-Don't Delay – Register for the Master Gardener's Course Today
-Integrated Pest Management - How To

Spring 2009
-Pesticide Use at or Near Schools
-Pesticide Storage
-Vermont's Pesticide Storage Requirements
-Secondary Containment Facility Inspections in 2009
-Budget Update from UVM Extension
-Update from UVM Department of Plant & Soil Science
-The History of Pesticides

December 2008
-Pesticide Issues in the Works: Pesticide Volatilization
-Jim Leland Becomes Director of ARMES Division as Phil Benedict Retires
-Pesticide Enforcement Update
-Crossword Puzzle Answers and Explanation
-Respirators for Pesticide Applications
-Toxicity of Pesticides

June 2008
-NPIC is Now Multi-lingual
-EPA Issues One-Year Registration for Soil Fumigant Iodomethane
-History Lesson
-EPA Orders Scotts to Stop Selling Certain Pesticides
-2008 Waste Pesticide Collection Schedule
-Purple Traps in VT
-Vermont Growers Welcome Dr. Yolanda Chen
-Pesticides and Pets
-Long Term Pesticide Exposure May Increase Risk of Diabetes

December 2007
-EPA Releases Pesticide Container and Containment Rule
-2007 Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) Update
-Toxicity of Pesticides
-Important Pesticide-Related Agriculture and Extension Contacts
-Results and Implications of the Agricultural Health Study
-Legislative Update

June 2007
-A Review of the Regulations Concerning Pesticide Applications in Vermont Daycare Facilities
-USDA Declares Extraordinary Emergency in Michigan and New York due to Plum Pox Virus
-Recertification Credits piling up?
-Effect of pH on Pesticide Stability and Efficacy
-Safe Disposal of Pesticides and Containers.

December 2006
-Just Another reason to buy locally.
-More Discussion of the Insecticide Mode of Action Classification Article.
-Private Applicators – Time to check that Expiration Date
-Review of Pesticide Formulations
-Special Notice to Corn Growers
-Choosing the Right Gloves for the Job

June 2006
-Antimicrobial Products to Disinfect Poultry and Other Facilities against Avian (Bird) Flu 1
-IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee) Mode of Action Classification
-Indar Approved For Mummyberry Control in Vermont
-Aquatic Weed Control
-Pesticide Applicator Companies and Commercial Applicators: A Reminder about Changes in Job Status
-Ever wonder how many recertification credits you have?
-UVM Extension Pesticide Education and Safety Program Updates
-Pesticide Drift

January 2006
-EPA Finalizes Approach
-Vermont Tree Fruit Exotic Pest Surv
-Filling Out Your Annual Pesticide Usage Report
-Notice to Vermont Pesticide Dealers
-2005 Forest Tent Caterpillar Suppression Project
-Revised 2005 Worker Protection Standard Manual Available
-Pesticide Applicators: Take Advantage of Pesticide Disposal
-What Can I Do With Empty Pesticide Containers?
-New Web page Provides Pesticide Labeling Information and Vehicle for Submitting Questions
-Priority Pests of the Nursery, Greenhouse and Garden Center
-How Soil Properties Affect Groundwater Vulnerability to Pesticide Contamination
-Agency Hires New Pesticide C & T Coordinator
-New Category 3 Manual
-First Aid and Pesticide Poisonings

July 2005
-News from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Plant Industry Division
-News from the University of Vermont, Extension Service
-Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey Update: The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
-Lecanium Scale lnsects Make Life Sticky
-lnstrumentation to Document Environmental Conditions During Pesticide Applications
-Sprayer Technology: Are the Pesticides Reaching the Leaves?

June 2004
-News from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Plant Industry Division
-News from the University of Vermont, Extension Service
-Update on Ornamental Diseases and the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey
-Wasp and Bee Control
-Prevention and Management of Pesticide Resistance
-Respiratory Protective Devices for Pesticides

November 2003
-News from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Plant Industry Division
-News from the University of Vermont Extension Service
-Bat Control: lt's All About Exclusion, Exclusion, Exclusion
-Protecting Wildlife from Pesticide Risks: The Ecological Risk Assessment
-Using and Calibrating a Backpack Sprayer
-Wear and Use Personal Protective Equipment

May 2003
-News from the Vermont Department of Agriculture, Plant Industry Division
-News from the University of Vermont, Cooperative Extension Service - Assessing Field Corn Soon After Emergence
-Sanitation Strategies for Greenhouse Growers
-Exotic Pest Update - Emerald Ash Borer, Southern Bacterial Wilt
-Tick Alert
-Non-Game Tick Survey - 2002
-Protecting Our Surface Water Resources from Contamination with Pesticides
-Avoiding Heat Stress During Pesticide Applications

November 2002
-News from the Vermont Department of Agriculture, Plant Industry Division
-News from the University of Vermont, Cooperative Extension Service
-2002 Pesticide Enforcement Review
-Pest Profile - Bed Bugs
-Upcoming Meetings/Training Events
-Factors Affecting Groundwater Contamination with Pesticides
-Protecting Groundwater from Contamination with Pesticides

July 2002
-News from the Vermont Department of Agriculture, Plant Industry Division
-News from the University of Vermont, Cooperative Extension Service
-Information Resources
-Lyme Disease - The Basics
-Lyme Disease Surveillance in Vermont
-Handling Pesticide Spills: Prevention and Management
-On-Line Insect Tutorials Approved for Recertification Credits

November 2001
-News from the Vermont Department of Agriculture, Plant lndustry Division
-News from the University of Vermont Cooperative Extension
-Pesticide Alert - Pesticide Safety and Site Security
-Tips for Storing Pesticides Safely
-Reading the Pesticide Label - [or step number one of a job well (and legally) done]
-Vermont Act 125 - "An Act Relating to Toxic Materials and Indoor Air Quality in Vermont Public Schools" - What Does it Mean for Pesticide Applicators?
-Vermont Pesticide and Groundwater Monitoring Program

July 2001
-News from the Vermont Department of Agriculture, Plant Industry Division
-News from the University of Vermont, Cooperative Extension Service
-Pesticide News and Product Update
-Steps for Reducing the Risks of West Nile Virus
-lntegrated Pest Management and Advanced Technology
-Department of Agriculture and Cooperative Extension Contacts


This work is supported by Crop Protection and Pest Management Program [grant no. 2021-70006-35509/project accession no. 1027204] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.