Get the CEUs You Need

Tacy Callies CEU, Tip of the Week

Citrus Expo seminars offer multiple continuing education units every year.

By Ajia Paolillo

If you are a certified applicator in Florida, meaning you hold a restricted-use pesticide (RUP) license, chances are you will use continuing education units (CEUs) for the renewal of your license. With the new year approaching, this is a great time to review the CEUs that you have earned toward your license and identify how many more you may need.

RUP licenses are valid for four years and are either renewed through earning CEUs or taking the pesticide license exams again. Although four years may seem like a long time, it is easy to forget about your license renewal. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) mails renewal notices about 60 days before the license expiration date. Remember to always keep a copy of CEU forms you receive at educational events. It is the applicator’s responsibility to submit the forms at renewal time.

Many in the citrus industry hold a Chapter 487 RUP license in one of these three categories: private, commercial or public. Each license requires a different amount of CEUs for renewal. Everyone must submit four Core CEUs toward their license. Below are the CEU requirements for the private applicator license and some of the common 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

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) hosts events throughout the year that offer CEUs. Although many events have been online, UF/IFAS is starting to hold in-person meetings again. UF/IFAS Extension agents send out information on events through monthly newsletters and bulletins. Contact your Extension agent if you would like to be added to these mailing lists.

One way to earn Core CEUs is by reading the CEU Central articles that are available from Citrus Industry magazine. The articles focus on different areas of pesticide safety and use. Four CEU articles are available throughout the year to meet the Core CEU requirements. Each article features a 20-question test at the end. You must pass with a 70% or higher to earn one Core CEU. The tests can be submitted online or by sending in the hard copy from the printed magazine to the 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 of the articles listed on the website are current and valid for CEU credit at this time.

For all license categories, you can earn CEUs through the online courses provided by the UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office. These courses are self-paced, and the cost for each starts at $20. 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 University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension multi-county citrus agent based in Arcadia.  

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