N.C. Cooperative Extension, N.C. Farm Bureau team present pesticide safety workshops

Media Contact: Julia Storm, 919.515.7961 or julia_storm@ncsu.edu

N.C. Cooperative Extension and the N.C. Farm Bureau Safety Team are partnering to help growers train Spanish-speaking farm workers on pesticide safety. Six upcoming workshops offered across North Carolina will prepare growers to use the Pesticides and Farmworker Health Toolkit, a resource based on the latest pesticide information for North Carolina that also can be tailored to a specific crop and workplace.

The Pesticides and Farmworker Health Toolkit is a pesticide education resource for Environmental Protection Agency-approved Worker Protection Standard (WPS) training of Spanish-speaking farmworkers. It was developed by Extension specialists Dr. Catherine LePrevost, Julia Storm and Dr. Greg Cope in the N.C. State University Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, with funding from the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Pesticide Environmental Trust Fund.

Toolkits are available in Spanish and English for 11 labor-intensive North Carolina crops, including apples, bell peppers, blueberries, Christmas trees, cucumbers, grapes, landscape/turf, strawberries, sweet potatoes, tobacco and tomatoes. The Toolkit features a colorful, illustrated flipchart with leaders’ guide, a one-page handout with essential safety messages, and interactive learning activities including jug-labeling and symptom charades. A bilingual poster is also available for purchase.

Registration for these six workshops is required and space is limited, so call now to reserve your space. Workshop dates and locations are listed below.

Feb. 17, 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon
(Breakfast sponsored by CommWell Health)
Location: Pender County Extension Center, 801 S Walker St, Burgaw, NC 28425
Registration Contact: Bette Rose, N.C. Cooperative Extension, 910.253.2610

Feb. 28, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Meal sponsored by County Farm Bureaus)
Location: Orange County Extension Center, Hillsborough, NC
Registration Contact: Orange County Extension, 919.245.2050

March 5, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Breakfast sponsored by Cumberland County Farm Bureau; Interpretation sponsored by N.C. Growers’ Association)
Location: Cumberland County Extension Center, Fayetteville, NC
Registration Contact: Brian Parrish, NCCE office 910-893-7530, cell 919-692-5845;

March 7, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Lunch sponsored by County Farm Bureaus)
Location: Mountain Horticulture Crops Research & Extension Center, Mills River, NC
Registration Contact: Ivy Olson, Henderson County Extension, 828.697.4891, ivy_olson@ncsu.edu

March 15, 9 a.m. – 12 noon (Lunch sponsored by County Farm Bureaus)
Location: Pitt County Extension Center, Greenville, NC
Registration Contact: Roy Thagard Jr., 252.747.5831

April 3, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Lunch sponsored by County Farm Bureaus)
Location: Alexander Campus, Catawba Valley Community College, Taylorsville, NC
Registration Contact: Lenny Rogers, 828.632.4451

Workshops will offer three hours of pesticide applicator credit for the following categories: Private Specialty Training (X), Dealers (D), Regulatory (I), Ornamental/Turf (L), Ag Pest Plant (O), and Demonstration and Research (N). N.C. Cooperative Extension and the N.C. Farm Bureau Safety Team are collaborating to present these workshops.

What should you expect during a train-the-trainer workshop?
Instructors will provide an overview of the Toolkit materials and the development process that involved both trainers and farmworkers. They will demonstrate training techniques using the Toolkit flipchart and handouts and engage participants in the Toolkits’ hands-on activities. Trainees will work in small groups to practice delivering the Toolkit training using the crop that is most relevant for them. Opportunities for local collaboration and tips for working with interpreters will also be discussed.

The Toolkit has been enthusiastically received across the state. “I am delighted to feature the Toolkit as part of the N.C. Private Applicator Recertification Training Program,” said Dr. Wayne Buhler, horticulture specialist, N.C. State University. N.C. Farm Bureau Safety Team Leader Ronald Hawkins said he has Toolkits for a variety of crops available in the NCFB safety education lending library.

This will be the last opportunity in 2012 for intensive workshops for the Pesticides and Farmworker Health Toolkit. In addition to growers and landscapers, anyone who trains Spanish-speaking workers –Extension agents, state agency personnel, migrant and community health center outreach workers, migrant education program or migrant head start staff — is invited to attend a workshop and build local relationships with growers and others. For ordering information for the Pesticides and Farmworker Health Toolkit, visit go.ncsu.edu/pesticide-toolkit.

County Farm Bureaus, CommWell Health community health center and the N.C. Growers Association are among the local sponsors supporting these workshops. They will provide meals, interpreters and other extras to make the workshops successful.

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