The University of Georgia(UGA) has offered a free service to the state of Georgia for years. In the past, anyone involved in the production of an agricultural commodity could come into any extension office in the state and offer proof of American citizenship, a copy of their driver’s license, and an application for a private pesticide applicator’s license. They then could go online and take a 2 hour training that ended in a test. If they passed the test, the would bring back that packet and the County Agent could sign off of it before sending it to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Within a week, the applicant would be mailed a license.
However, this whole process will change as of May 1, 2017. UGA is going to start charging a $25 fee for this training to aid in recouping the cost of this process. Also the training that used to take 2 hours will now take about 4 hours to complete. I personally had the “privilege” to take this new version this morning. However, I will say that it added many elements that I felt the old version left out that are truly important for us to consider as we remain good stewards of our vast resources.