From Texas Department of Agriculture
During the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of positive
cases across the state, the Texas Department of Agriculture
(TDA) is extending the exemption of agriculture Continuing
Education Unit (CEU) requirements. To address the CEUs
and licensure requirements for Ag Pesticide applicators, the
TDA will work with the ag pesticide applicators and CEU
course providers of Texas during this critical time.
Licensed applicators with expiring licenses or needing
CEUs will be allowed to renew their license even if they have
not met their CEU requirement for their current licensing
period through December 31, 2021.
Many CEU events have been canceled over the past year,
due to the pandemic and restrictions around the state, and
because of this the TDA will work to insure all the state’s
pesticide applicators are able to acquire their licenses and
required continuing education courses in a safe and effective
manner during this time frame. Once the restrictions have
been lifted and courses are scheduled again, applicators will
be required to obtain their required CEUs for their
respective license classification for each licensing period.
By allowing a CEU exemption, this will allow the
applicators to maintain their ability to perform pesticide
applications for pests, weeds, insects, etc., without disrupting
daily business functions. Applicators are still encouraged to
complete online courses even if online course were completed
the previous licensing period.
COMMERCIAL, NON-COMMERCIAL AND NON-COMMERCIAL POLITICAL
APPLICATORS: For licenses expiring in 2021 ONLY: TDA will exempt
commercial, non-commercial and non-commercial political applicators who
have taken online correspondence courses within the last year.
The TDA Rule 7.24(t) (2) does not allow for online or
correspondence courses to be taken two years consecutively.
However, in light of the unusual circumstances, due to
COVID-19 (coronavirus), the TDA will allow online or
correspondence course to be taken in consecutive years. This
exemption will be for the current 2021 licensing period.
Commercial, non-commercial and non-commercial political
pesticide applicators are required to obtain five CEUs per
PRIVATE APPLICATORS: For licenses expiring in
2021 ONLY: The TDA will also exempt private applicators
from the TDA rule 7.24(t) (5). This rule does not allow a
private applicator to acquire more than 10 CEUs through
correspondence courses. During this quarantine time frame,
private applicators will be allowed to acquire ALL of their
CEUs through correspondence courses (online). Private
applicators are required to obtain 15 CEUs per 5-year
CEU COURSE PROVIDERS: For CEU course providers, live courses
that have already received TDA approval may continue to be offered
via live web-based courses. These courses must have the capability for the
audience to ask questions and/or interact with the speaker.
Course providers are asked to notify TDA of interactive
course dates so that applicators can attend available courses
during this period. TDA will update their website with course
dates. Course providers are asked to continue to offer courses
and may submit new CEU courses for approval by emailing a
completed PA-409 to recertcourses@TexasAgriculture.gov.
The TDA request that providers contact TDA prior to any
course given via a live, web-based program (Zoom, Facebook
Live, etc.) so that staff can monitor / participate in the course.
All courses will be posted on the TDA website
TESTING: Testing is currently being offered by the
TDA’s third party testing company, PSI, LLC. The testing
centers have been modified to safely accommodate in person
testing with COVID-19 safety protocols in place.
For assistance or questions regarding CEU certifications
or pesticide license contact Perry Cervantes, Director for
Environmental and Biosecurity Programs at the Texas
Department of Agriculture (Perry.Cervantes@TexasAgriculture.gov).