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2010 Annual Report

UC Statewide IPM Program

maintenance gardenersPhoto by J. K. Clark.

Pilot training program features UC IPM material


  • Eight workshops in Spanish and English led to 90% pass rate on certification exam.
  • Additional training will be held in Stanislaus and San Luis Obispo counties.
  • A narrated, online version of the program is available on the UC IPM Web site.

San Luis Obispo County used UC IPM materials in their successful pilot of a pesticide safety training program for maintenance gardeners.

Maintenance gardeners must be certified or supervised if they apply pesticides. After determining 82% of the maintenance gardeners in the county lacked required certification, the San Luis Obispo Department of Agriculture pursued a major outreach and educational program to correct the problem. Use of pesticides by noncertified maintenance gardeners creates risks for public safety and the environment in residential areas.

Led by Deputy Agricultural Commissioner Janice Campbell, the program employed a private trainer and used UC IPM-developed curriculum including a PowerPoint presentation, illustrated workbooks, and study guides. The trainer led eight workshops, almost half of which were in Spanish, which 137 maintenance gardeners attended. When 131 of those participants took the category Q pesticide certification exam administered by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, nearly 90% passed.

UC IPM has made the training materials available to all of California’s county agricultural commissioners. The materials and a free, narrated online course that includes the complete curriculum are available on the UC IPM Web site.

“The training materials are really great,” Campbell said. “They are helping us move toward our goal of getting more maintenance gardeners into compliance.”

In 2011, San Luis Obispo will repeat the training, and the Stanislaus Agricultural Commissioner’s office also will be introducing the program.

Next article >> Marin County strengthens IPM policy

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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