We were very excited this year to provide 100+ varieties of citrus for the general public to taste on Dec 10 in Lindcove REC's annual event. As a special bonus this year, we also prepared an exhibit of fruit and potted plants with various pest, disease, and genetic disorders for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) high school students to study. These students will compete in citrus judging contests and the fruit that we provided helped them to prepare for this event. Students and their coaches from Golden West, Mt Whitney, Woodlake, Orosi, and Central Valley Christian high schools participated in the training.
Growers and PCAs from around the area came to Lindcove REC today and enjoyed the tasting of more than 100 varieties of citrus.
Come one come all to the Lindcove Fruit Display and Tasting - more than 100 varieties of fruit on display. 22963 Carson Ave., Exeter.
Citrus Industry: Friday Dec 9 from 9-noon. Visit with Drs. Mikeal Roose, Tracy Kahn and Georgios Vidalakis from UC Riverside as they talk about citrus varieties and give tours of the CCPP program and demonstration orchard (starting at 10 am).
General public: Saturday Dec 10 from 9-noon. Visit with Master Gardeners and ask citrus horticulture questions. A bag can be purchased to fill with citrus fruit - Cara Caras and mandarins!
Freshmen Ag Academy students from Strathmore High School participated in science and mechanics training at the Lindcove Research and Extension Center on Oct 6. The ag science students studied the insect citricola scale, collected samples of scale-infested leaves from a pesticide trial, and calculated and plotted mean densities to determine which treatment worked the best. The Ag Mechanics students learned about the operations of the greenhouse, irrigation system, fruit grading system in the packline and utilized shop tools to construct a wooden box. The Ag Academy program is designed to prepare students for careers in agriculture and we were excited to be a part of that training.
- Author: Lisa Blecker
- Author: Sarah Risorto
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) recently published the revised Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS). The WPS is meant to increase protections for agricultural fieldworkers and pesticide handlers from pesticide exposure when working in farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses. The changes will definitely affect California agriculture, and soon-- as early as January 2017 in some cases.
What major regulatory changes are in store for us and when will they happen?
Several changes are required to be in place by January 2, 2017. These include:
- All 417,000 fieldworkers in California must attend annual pesticide safety training.
- Records of all fieldworker pesticide safety trainings must be kept on file for 2 years.
- Fields must be posted when the restricted entry interval (REI) exceeds 48 hours.
- Instructors previously certified via Train-the-Trainer to lead pesticide safety trainings must now attend an EPA-approved Train-the-Trainer course to maintain that certification.
The regulatory changes that are required to be in place by January 2, 2018 include:
Additional training topics for fieldworkers and handlers must be added to the curriculum.
- “Application-exclusion zones” must be implemented to prevent the entry of anyone into areas up to 100 feet from pesticide application equipment. Application-exclusion zone regulations also require handlers to suspend an application if anyone enters the restricted area.
Who do these changes affect?
Many people who work in the California agricultural community will be impacted by the WPS revisions including fieldworkers, pesticide handlers, farm labor contractors, private and in-house safety trainers, growers, farm managers, licensed pesticide applicators (private and commercial), pest control advisors (PCAs), and crop consultants to name a few.
The new changes bring about a shared liability with all those involved in employing or training fieldworkers and handlers.
How can I get qualified as a trainer?
To become a trainer, take an EPA- and DPR- approved Instructor Training (a.k.a. “Train-the-Trainer”) workshop. The University of California Pesticide Safety Education Program (part of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, UC IPM), in partnership with AgSafe, will offer multiple workshops this fall that cover the new federal requirements for fieldworker and handler training. Visit the Events and workshops page on the UC IPM website to reserve your spot. At the end of the training you will be a certified pesticide safety instructor.
Remember, even if you've already participated in a Train-the-Trainer workshop, you are required by EPA to retake the program unless you maintain certain licenses/government designations, including PAC, QAC, QAL, PCA, and certain County Biologist licenses. UCCE Advisors are also exempted from the need to retrain.
If I am currently qualified, how can I make sure I stay up to date on all these new requirements?
If you are currently qualified as a trainer because you maintain a California PAC, QAC, or QAL, or if you are a PCA, you can attend a Train-the-Trainer workshop this fall to learn about the new WPS requirements and additional training topics. While a certification may qualify you, a Train-the-Trainer Workshop will prepare you to train! Register today.