View Poster Application


Extension Education

Matthew Smith
Commercial Crop Production and Food Systems Agent
United States


COVID-19 disrupted several Florida agricultural and landscape sectors, including the state’s pesticide licensing system. Lockdowns began during a historically active period for new licenses and license renewal with Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Applicators nearing license cancellation were without a way to obtain renewal credits and certain landscapers were unable to meet testing requirements. Objectives: This program was developed to provide emergency online pesticide training under existing legal requirements to maintain continuity of existing licenses and job creation with new licensees in categories with education requirements. Methods: The Central District Pesticide Training Team, a multi-county training effort, consulted the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office and modified teaching and attendance verification methods to exist within the Zoom videoconferencing platform. Migration required new training of the team as well as the attendees. Attendance verification for each module was solved with a combination of time-limited actions to be performed by attendees. Following the first successful class, we were approached by other county Extension agents for training in adapting their own programs. Results: 193 people attended virtual pesticide classes from April through November 2020. 76% attended for license renewal CEUs to maintain employment. 28% reported salary increases. Year-to-year surveys showed an average 4.8% increase in knowledge gain despite the shift to an unfamiliar format. However, behavioral change dropped by an overall average 1.6%. 100% of new license holder respondents believed the training helped them pass their exams to gain or maintain employment. Conclusions: The digital move was well received by clientele. Steps taken by the Team resulted in uninterrupted continuity of service with little lost in the translation.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted only for display at AM/PIC. Poster is not to be judged, but the abstract will be published in the proceedings.

Click to view Poster

Authors: M. Smith, B. Moffis, M. Pinkerton, N. Samuel, H. Wooten, K. Stauderman
  1. Smith, M. Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Sumter, Pasco, Hernando County, Florida, 33513
  2. Moffis, B. Commercial Horticulture/FL Friendly Landscaping/4-H Youth Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Lake County, Florida,
  3. Pinkerton, M. Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Seminole County, Florida, 32773
  4. Samuel, N. Florida-Friendly Landscaping and Urban Horticulture Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County, Florida, 33513
  5. Wooten, H. Commercial Horticulture Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Orange County, Florida, 32812
  6. Stauderman, K. Commercial Horticulture Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Volusia County, Florida, 32724