About PSEP

Welcome to the MSU Pesticide Safety Education Program.

Pesticide Safety Education ProgramPSEP is here to offer certification training and updates for pesticide applicators as well as to provide education and information for applicators and the general public about pesticide safety.

"The responsibility of the Pesticide Education Program is to provide pesticide education materials and information to trainers, applicators, regulators, extension staff, and researchers. Our mission is to improve pesticide use practices to protect humans and the environment by providing information on pesticide use data, laws and regulations, IPM, and environmental stewardship to enhance the decision-making of target audiences."

The above mission statement is based on one written in 1992 by staff in the Pesticide Safety Education Program. It still describes the general theme of our work. The overall focus of the Pesticide Safety Education Program is to help people:

  • Use pesticides only when needed.
  • Apply pesticides safely.
  • Understand and comply with pesticide-related laws and regulations.
  • Recognize and understand the potential impacts of pesticide use, including impacts on human health, non-target organisms, and the environment.

Our constituents are the over 13,900 private, 12,700 commercial, and 1,800 registered tech applicators in the state of Michigan, as well as campus based and county extension staff who do much of the training. We further serve the Michigan State University community, government agencies, and the general public who may have questions or concerns about pesticide-related issues. Our funding comes mostly from federal (USDA) and state (Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development) line item dollars, but we supplement the program with competitive grant dollars.

We fulfill our mission in several ways. Our most important role is to develop, publish, and revise applicator training materials. The Pesticide Safety Education Program is responsible for the manuals used by Michigan applicators as study guides for certification exams, and for providing a pool of test questions for the exams administered by the Department of Agriculture. Manuals include a "core" with materials that all applicators must know, plus 24 category specific manuals for commercial applicators and registered technicians (see list on page 2). Michigan has one of the largest numbers of certification categories in the United States. In addition to manuals, the Pesticide Safety Education Program develops other resources for a wide audience, including bulletins, brochures, posters, and slide sets.

Specialists in Pesticide Safety Education also do training themselves, speaking at several programs each year. Many of these are individual county meetings, while others are organized programs given at multiple sites in the state. Staff members also organize the annual educational program for Michigan aerial applicators. Beyond organized extension activities, pesticide specialists routinely field questions from the general public and university students regarding pesticide regulations and impacts.

Pesticide Safety and Education Program
Food Safety & Toxicology Bldg.
1129 Farm Lane Road, Room B18A
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1302
517-353-9903 (Safa Alzohairy) 

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