Information will be updated as changes are made regarding COVID-19 and the PAT program. For more information contact MSU PEP or your local Extension office.

Message from the MSU Extension Pesticide Education Program Regarding COVID-19

January 11, 2021

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, recertifying applicators in District 3 who were unable to obtain recertification credits by the 12/31/2020 deadline may take an open book exam at local MSU Extension offices or online instead of the usual closed book exam. Please contact your local PAT Coordinator for inquires about testing. 

July 15, 2020

Masks are required at indoor spaces open to the public and outdoor events with over 50 people in counties with more than four active cases of COVID-19 due to the Governor's Mask Mandate issued on July 15, 2020. This order directly impacts many MSU Extension and pesticide education events. Some counties and tribes may have additional mask requirements - please check with your local health department. Please see the order for exceptions to the mask order.

April 26, 2020

Online and in-person pesticide license testing will be available starting April 27th for private applicators. Precautions will be taken to minimize risk due to COVID-19. For more details please see our news release titled: Pesticide Education Testing Update - COVID-19.

April 8, 2020

The Governor's 'Stay at Home' order has been extended until April 24, 2020. Due to this extension there will be no pesticide licensing available at this time. 

March 31, 2019

Due to the Governor's 'Stay at Home' order effective March 28, 2020 at 12:01 am there will be no pesticide license testing available for pesticide applicators in Montana until April 10, 2020 per guidance by the Montana Department of Agriculture. 

Online training materials, including videos, publications, manuals and other publications, are available on our publications and resources page.

March 23, 2020

The Montana State University (MSU) Extension Pesticide Education Program (PEP) understands the COVID-19 situation is quite disruptive to Montana Private Applicators as well as sponsors of private applicator programs. In concordance with MSU Extension policy regarding the COVID-19 virus, MSU PEP is:

  1. Canceling all onsite private applicator events including Initial Private Applicator Training Programs and recertification programs until April 10 and likely longer.
  2. Converting to online educational platforms whenever possible.    
  3. Canceling the 2020 PEP Update on April 1st and 2nd.  
  4. Canceling Initial Private Applicator Trainings in Ennis on April 8th, and Anaconda on April 9th. 
  5. Recording Initial Private Applicator Training core topics to be posted online to help prepare applicators for the Montana Private Applicator Exam.

Programs Offered as Webinars for Pesticide Education Credits 

Individuals may attend live online webinars from their home for recertification credits.  MSU Extension is working on providing these online opportunities in the near future.  Listings for webinars can be found by using the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) Course Locator Tool. Select “Webinar” as the Meeting Type, and under Category select “60 – Private Agricultural Pest Control”. This will return a list of webinars available for private applicator credits. Applicators should follow all instructions for accessing the webinar by selecting “Details”.  When attending webinars applicators are expected to provide their name and private applicator license number at the beginning of the webinar if they desire private applicator credits, while also answering attendance calls every 30 minutes of instruction. 

Online Courses for Credits

Applicators may complete online courses for private applicator credits.  There are 122 online courses delivering information on a wide array of pesticide education and pest management topics offered for private applicator credits. Using the MDA Course Locator Tool select “Online” as the Meeting Type, and “60 – Private Agricultural Pest Control” under Category. Applicators need to follow all instructions by selecting “Details” of online course of interest.

You may accumulate six private applicator credits online. Contact the MDA (Jennifer Bergner, 406-444-5512) if you have any questions regarding submitting webinars or pre-recorded online programs for credits, or tracking attendance for webinars or online courses.  

Montana Initial Private Applicator Programs  

MSU PEP is preparing pre-recorded sections of the Initial Private Applicator Program to support applicators taking the graded exam.  When the recordings are available they will be accessible on the MSU PEP website. These sessions will not be awarded private applicator credits; however, they will help prepare individuals taking the Montana Private Applicator Exam to obtain a Montana Private Applicator License.  The recordings are anticipated to be available by April 1st

The non-test option (Initial Private Applicator Trainings) cannot be offered online due to federal regulations.  Applicators may schedule to take the Montana Private Applicator Exam by contacting their local Extension office under the following policies:                                                                                             

  • Pass a closed book exam (70% pass rate) if their license has expired in the previous 12 months.
  • Pass an open book graded exam (70% pass rate) under all other circumstances.

We appreciate your patience during this difficult time.  This page will be updated as policies change, or when additional educational updates can be delivered.  It is undetermined when we will return to on-site programming.

Contact us if you have any additional questions.


Cecil Tharp
MSU Pesticide Education Specialist
[email protected]


Amy Bowser
MSU Pesticide Education Technician
[email protected]


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