By Ajia Paolillo
Do you hold a Florida restricted-use pesticide (RUP) license? With the new year approaching, this is a great time to review the continuing education units (CEUs) that you have earned toward the renewal of your RUP license. Your license comes up for renewal every four years, and it is easy to forget about this with everything we have going on in our daily lives.
Renewal notices are mailed from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) about 60 days before the license expiration date. A license can be renewed by taking the exams again or by earning the proper amount of CEUs. This year has been particularly challenging with workshops and events going virtual due to COVID-19. CEUs have been offered using these different online formats.
Many in the citrus industry hold a Chapter 487 private applicator, commercial or public RUP license. Each license requires a different amount of CEUs for renewal. Everyone must submit four Core CEUs toward the license. The following lists the CEU requirements for the private applicator license and some of the categories for commercial and public licenses:
- Private Applicator – 4 CEUs
- Agricultural Tree Crop – 8 CEUs
- Aquatic Pest Control – 16 CEUs
- Natural Areas Weed Management – 16 CEUs
- Aerial Application – 16 CEUs
- Right-of-Way Pest Control – 8 CEUs
- Demonstration & Research – 4 CEUs
WHERE TO EARN CEUs
So, where can you go to earn CEUs? One way to earn Core CEUs is by reading articles that are available from Citrus Industry magazine. The articles focus on different areas of pesticide safety and use. Citrus Industry magazine has four articles available throughout the year to meet the Core CEU requirements. These articles can be found online here at or in the printed magazine.
Each article features a 20-question test at the end. You must pass with at least a 70 percent to earn one Core CEU. The tests can be submitted online or by sending in the hard copy from the printed magazine to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension agent listed in the article. The articles are only valid for CEU credit for one year from the publication date, so make sure you are using a current article from the magazine. All the articles listed on the website are current and valid for CEU credit at this time.
You can earn CEUs in Private Applicator, Ag Tree, and Demonstration & Research from this year’s Florida Citrus Growers’ Institute and Citrus Expo. In this online format, you must watch the presentations in the CEU modules and pass an online test at the end. If you pass with a 70 percent or higher, you earn one CEU credit for each module in one of those categories.
For all categories including Aquatic, Natural Areas, Aerial and Right-of-Way, you can earn CEUs online through self-paced courses provided by the UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office. The cost for each course starts at $20, depending on the number of CEUs offered.
You may also access the FDACS CEU Course Database, which provides information on upcoming CEU courses that are offered virtually or in-person.
Ajia Paolillo is a UF/IFAS Extension multi-county citrus agent based in Arcadia.