Cecil Tharp, MSU Extension Pesticide Education Specialist

The Montana State University (MSU) Extension Pesticide Education Program and MSU Hill, Chouteau, Liberty, Cascade, Daniels, Madison and Dear Lodge County Extension programs are coordinating Initial Private Pesticide Applicator Trainings across Montana. These seven-hour training opportunities are designed for individuals desiring to learn more about pesticides, while simultaneously qualifying for a Montana private applicator license. A private applicator license allows individuals to apply restricted use pesticides on land an individual owns, rents or leases. Training opportunities are available in Hill County (Hingham) on January 22nd, Chouteau County (Fort Benton) on February 24th, Liberty County (Chester) on February 25th, Cascade County (Great Falls) on March 11th, Daniels County (Scobey) on March 17th, Madison County (Ennis) on April 8th, and Deer Lodge County (Anaconda) on April 9th.

Each program will cover many subject areas of interest including integrated pest management, pesticide movement in the environment, pesticide safety and toxicity, pesticide law, calibrating ground sprayer equipment, understanding the private applicator license, and reading and understanding the pesticide product label. Trainers speaking at these events, although variable by location, include county MSU County and Tribal Extension agents, Dr. Cecil Tharp (MSU Pesticide Education Specialist), Amy Bowser (MSU Pesticide Education Technician), Dr. Kevin Wanner (MSU Cropland Entomologist) and multiple MDA District Officers.

Cost and Private Applicator Credit Opportunities

Training fees range from free to $35 depending on location. This variance is due to certain locations catering snacks and lunches as well as variable program costs. See program agendas for more information (Table 1). By attending an Initial Training, applicators meet the qualifications to obtain a private applicator license. After the program, individuals will need to mail in the application along with a licensing fee to the MDA (Table 1). Recertifying applicators may attend the entire event for six private applicator credits. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged as space is limited. See program details below.

Table 1. Initial Training Details and Registration

Training Fee
License Fee
Hill County Extension

Hiway Bar
US Highway 2
Hingham, MT

Hingham Initial Training Agenda


(406) 365-5481
[email protected]


Chouteau County Extension
Agricultural Center
1205 20th Street
Fort Benton, MT 59422
Fort Benton Initial Training Agenda
(406) 622-3751
Liberty County Extension
St. Mary's Catholic Youth Center
11 W. Quincy Avenue
Chester, MT 59522
Chester Initial Training Agenda
 (406) 759-5625
Cascade County Extension
Montana ExpoPark's Paddock Club
400 3rd Street NW
Great Falls, MT 59404
Great Falls Initial Training Agenda
(406) 454-6980
Mail-in registration form
Daniels County Extension
106 Railroad Ave. E
Scobey, MT
Scobey Initial Training Agenda
(406) 487-2821
Fire Hall
5035 US Hwy 287 N
Ennis, MT 59729
Ennis Initial Training Agenda
Online registration
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
1500 Fairmont Road
Fairmont, MT 59711
Anaconda Initial Training Agenda
Online registration

For more information visit the Initial Private Applicator Training page.

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