District 5 Spring Newsletter

Dear Private Applicators, 

The following newsletter addresses the changes being made to the MSU Extension Pesticide Education Program (MSU PEP) necessitated by the COVID-19 outbreak. MSU PEP and MSU Extension are in a time of transition, but we are doing our best to provide Montana with timely alternatives to our regular programming. Because of the nature of the outbreak things are changing very quickly and are different at local levels across the state. If you have questions about pesticide education in your county or tribe please contact your local MSU Extension agent as they will have the most relevant information for your location. Please keep in mind the information we are sending out with this letter is current today, but may change in the coming days or weeks. For more information on our program and changes due to COVID-19 please visit our website where we will keep private applicators up-to-date.

Licensing Opportunities

Due to the governor's "Stay-at-home" order and other COVID-19 related restrictions our usual ways of licensing through in-person testing or Initial Private Applicator Programs have been shut down since March 23, 2020. As of April 27, 2020 we now have licensing options available for taking the Montana Private Applicator Exam for in-person, drive through and online testing. Each method will utilize strict precautions in order to protect both the applicator and the MSU Extension agent. The availability of these options depends on the local MSU Extension office. These options also may be changed or restricted depending on the ongoing COVID-19 status in Montana. If you need to obtain a private applicator license please contact your local MSU Extension PAT Coordinator or MSU PEP.

Study Materials

There are two required manuals for private applicators which are the best method to prepare for the Montana Private Applicator Exam. The two manuals, the National Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Manual (second edition, 2014) and the Montana Private Pesticide Certification Addendum, are available for purchase online at the MSU Extension Store. We have also recorded videos of six core topic areas for additional study material. MSU PEP has extensive resources in addition to those listed above available on our website. 

Recertification Programs

With the phased re-opening of Montana onsite pesticide education programs for credits may resume for groups under 10. Keep an eye out for pesticide education course advertisements and communications from your local MSU Extension office. Two additional options for obtaining pesticide education recertification credits include webinars and online courses. All offerings available at this time can be found using the MDA Course Locator Tool. Remember to enter "60 - Private Agricultural Pest Control" under "Category" to find opportunities available for private applicator 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. 

At the time of this newsletter there is one webinar offered for one private applicator credit on June 24, 2020 at the Virtual Fly Control Conference. Visit their website for more information and instructions on registering.

Online Courses

Applicators may complete online courses for private applicator credits.  There are 126 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 the online course of interest.

Featured Online Course: Montana Noxious Weed Realtor Training Course

This course was created by Montana State University and the Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign and consists of five modules and is worth four private applicator credits. While this course is created for real estate professionals the content is useful in many different disciplines. The modules are based on gaining awareness of state listed noxious weeds, identification, an in-depth understanding of the county noxious weed law and knowledge of tools and resources available to help land owners manage noxious weeds. The modules take about four hours to complete and must be completed within six months of registering to obtain credits. You must pass the class with a 70% or better.  For more information visit the Montana Noxious Weed Education Campaign or contact Shantell Frame-Martin at [email protected] or (406) 328-4785.

EPA Concludes Review of Glyphosate

Glyphosate, commonly known by the brand name Roundup, is a widely used herbicide in Montana and the US. Recent litigation has questioned if glyphosate is cancer causing, prompting the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct a regulatory review of products with this active ingredient. The EPA completed their review of available science in February and has found "there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen." New data may change the perspective of glyphosate risk in the future; however, with the data available these findings are consistent with reviews completed by many agencies and countries. The bulletin can be viewed online and for more information visit the EPA webpage on glyphosate.

Recent Publications and News Updates

MSU Extension Resources


Private applicator District 5 recertification dates


Montana Private Applicator District 5 consists of the following counties and reservations in Southeast Montana: Big Horn, Carbon, Crow Reservation, Fergus, Golden Valley, Judith Basin, Musselshell, Northern Cheyenne Reservation, Petroleum, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Wheatland, and Yellowstone. District 5's five-year recertification cycle expires on 12/31/2022. Applicators wishing to renew their license will need to obtain six recertification credits by this date. You can look up your current credits online, as well as look for currently available pesticide education courses.


MSU Extension Pesticide Education Program 
P.O. Box 172900 Bozeman, MT 59717-2900
406-994-5067 or 406-994-5178
[email protected]

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