Looking for an alternative to the 1990s video to train your Spanish-speaking workers on pesticide safety? Want a training program that prepares workers for your specific crop and workplace—with up-to-date pesticide information for North Carolina?
Then plan to attend one of six workshops offered this winter all across North Carolina to prepare you to use the Pesticides and Farmworker Health Toolkit! Workshops will offer three hours of pesticide applicator credit for the following categories: Private Specialty Training (X), Dealers (D), Regulatory (I), Ornamental/Turf (L), Ag Pest Plant (O), and Demonstration and Research (N). N.C. Cooperative Extension and the N.C. Farm Bureau Safety Team are excited to collaborate on these workshops.
The Pesticides and Farmworker Health Toolkit is a pesticide education resource for EPA-approved Worker Protection Standard (WPS) training of Spanish-speaking farmworkers. It was developed by Extension specialists Dr. Greg Cope, Dr. Catherine LePrevost, and Julia Storm in the N.C. State University Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology with funding from NCDA’s Pesticide Environmental Trust Fund. Toolkits are available in Spanish and English for 11 hand labor-intensive North Carolina crops, including apples, bell peppers, blueberries, Christmas trees, cucumbers, grapes, landscape/turf, strawberries, sweetpotatoes, tobacco, and tomatoes. The Toolkit features a colorful, illustrated flipchart with leaders guide, a one-page handout with essential safety messages, and interactive learning activities including jug-labeling and symptom charades. A bilingual poster is also available for purchase.
What should you expect during a train-the-trainer workshop? LePrevost, Storm, and other instructors will provide an overview of the Toolkit materials and the development process that involved both trainers and farmworkers. They will demonstrate training techniques using the Toolkit flipchart and handouts and engage participants in the Toolkits’ hands-on activities. Trainees work in small groups to practice delivering the Toolkit training using the crop that is most relevant for them. Opportunities for local collaboration and tips for working with interpreters will also be discussed.
County Farm Bureaus, CommWell Health community health center, and the N.C. Growers Association are just some of the local sponsors supporting these workshops. They will provide meals, interpreters, or other extras to make the workshops a great success.
The Toolkit has been enthusiastically received across the state. N.C. Farm Bureau Safety Team Leader Ronald Hawkins has Toolkits for a variety of crops available in the NCFB safety education lending library. Dr. Wayne Buhler of N.C. State University says he is “delighted to feature the Toolkit as part of the N.C. Private Applicator Recertification Training Program.” N.C. Growers Association staff are equally enthusiastic about the Toolkit as a refreshing, new educational resource, and are helping sponsor a local workshop. Regina Cullen of the N.C. Department of Labor’s Agricultural Safety and Health Bureau supports using the Toolkit training as an important part of a grower’s hazard communication program. Finally, Jim Burnette, Director of NCDA’s Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division, is highly complementary of this new and innovative pesticide education resource for workers.
LePrevost has already led workshops with health clinic outreach workers, NC Farmworker Health Program staff, student interns, Migrant Education staff, Extension agents, state agency personnel, and AmeriCorps volunteers. In addition, the Toolkit has been introduced to growers, landscapers, and others during 2011-2012 at the Tomato Field Day, the Turfgrass Field Day, the North Carolina Christmas Tree Association Summer Meeting, the Southeast Strawberry Expo, the Southeast Vegetable Expo, the Blueberry Expo, the Apple School, the N.C. Farm Show, the N.C .Gold Star Grower’s Luncheon, and the Winegrowers Conference.
This is the last opportunity in 2012 for intensive workshops for the Pesticides and Farmworker Health Toolkit. In addition to growers and landscapers, anyone who trains Spanish-speaking workers — Extension agents, state agency personnel, migrant and community health center outreach workers, migrant education program or migrant head start staff — is invited to attend a workshop and build local relationships with growers and others. For ordering information for the Pesticides and Farmworker Health Toolkit, visit http://go.ncsu.edu/pesticide-toolkit.