Farming is a yearlong activity and even though we approach Christmas and the holiday season, certain activities still have to be done before taking time off. Farmers also have to deal with the Grinch.
This year, the Grinch was the notice of the need to renew their private pesticide applicator license. Many farmers in the area received the notice last week.
The notice informs them that their current license will expire at the end of March and they must complete continuing education hours to renew before this date.
In the spirit of the Grinch, they were also informed that the cost of renewal has increased and it will now be $65. Thirty dollars is sent to the Ohio Department of Agriculture for the license itself, and $35 to OSU Extension at the time of training for the continuing education.
Farmers must have a private applicator license to apply restricted-use pesticides on their farm or for an employer’s crops. A commercial license is required for individuals who apply products on fields other than their own or as a business.
The Environmental Protection Agency determines whether a product is designated as restricted use or general use. Restricted-use products may be organic or traditional pesticides.
To obtain a private applicator license, a farmer must pass a series of exams that tests his competency in pesticide safety and application knowledge. Farmers also must be certified in one or more of seven categories, such as grain and cereal, forage and livestock, and/or fruit and vegetable.
A license must be renewed every three years by completing three hours of continuing education. Recertification training emphasizes effective management strategies that enhance crop productivity, encourage responsible use of products, and promote safe practices for applicators, the public, and the environment.
Training is conducted by OSU Extension educators with expertise in agriculture, pest management and pesticide safety. These educators receive training and updates every year to develop the latest teaching curriculum.
To ease the pain of the Grinch letter, the Hancock County and Putnam County Extension offices will offer recertification programs early next year to fulfill the three hours of continuing education needed for license renewal.
These programs will be offered on the following dates:
• Jan. 30, 9 a.m. to noon, Hancock County Agricultural Service Center, 7868 County 140, Findlay. All categories.
• Feb. 11, 9 a.m. to noon, Knights of Columbus Hall, 718 Napoleon Road, Kalida. Categories 1, 2, 3 and 6.
• Feb. 27, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Hancock County Agricultural Service Center, 7868 County 140, Findlay. All categories.
• March 18, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 718 Napoleon Road, Kalida. Categories 1, 2, 3 and 6.
Individuals may register for the programs by calling the Hancock County Extension office at 419-422-3851 or emailing lentz.38@osu.edu, or by calling Putnam County Extension Office at 419-523-6294.
Registration fee of $35 (remit to OSU Extension) may be paid online, at the local Extension office, or on the day of the program. Part of these fees will return to local Extension programming (more of the fee will return to local programming if paid at the local Extension office on the day of the program).
Training dates for other counties in northwestern Ohio may be found online at http://pested.osu.edu/privaterecert.html.
The private applicator license is another way that farmers show good stewardship in caring for the land and raising our food.
Merry Christmas to all of you and may the heart of your Grinch change from small to large this holiday season.
Lentz is extension educator for agriculture and natural resources for The Ohio State University Extension Service in Hancock County. He can be reached at 419-422-3851 or via email at lentz.38@osu.edu.
Lentz can be heard with Vaun Wickerham on weekdays at 6:35 a.m. on WFIN, at 5:43 a.m. on WKXA-FM, and at 5:28 a.m. at 106.3 The Fox.

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