Congratulations to the Washington state Department of Agriculture’s Technical Services and Education Program.  Last week TSEP earned a national innovation award as “one of the most robust pesticide safety training programs in the nation”.  That award was handed out at the Pesticide Stewardship Alliance annual conference in San Antonio, TX.  TPSA is a national consortium of federal, state and local governmental agencies; educational and research institutions; and other groups promoting pesticide stewardship through education, training, and outreach.



WSDA Director Derek Sandison said farm worker training and protection is a top priority for the agency.


"Here in Washington, we put an emphasis on training and education programs that ensure pesticides are used properly. We set the standard for the rest of the country and that's something we're very proud of," Sandison said.


WSDA pesticide training program manager Ofelio Borges accepted the group’s Program Innovation Award on behalf of the team.


“We put a lot of effort into making sure farm workers have the training they need to safely handle pesticides,” Borges said. “It’s great to have our hard work recognized.”


WSDA’s training program is taught in Spanish and English, with trainers making a concerted effort to reach workers who will be conducting the pesticide applications.  Through workshops that include in-class and hands-on training, the goal at TSEP is to make sure that workers understand the equipment, rules and requirements of safe pesticide applications.  Courses are routinely filled to capacity and WSDA regularly partners with farm operations for training done in actual fields and orchards.


In its announcement, TPSA hailed Washington State as a national leader in training and innovation.  Currently, Washington State has one of the most robust pesticide safety training programs in the nation.”



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