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The Crop Care Professional initiative to offer environmental awareness in agriculture retail and production began in 2006 with six students. Sponsored by Ag retail businesses in the region, the program has continued to gain in scope and enrollment.
The Crop Care Professional is all about training for the complexities of the modern pesticide and fertility service business. This means handling and applying chemicals, operating large service units, and other duties around the potentially hazardous agribusiness workplace.
Crop Care Professional offers a web-based study component, so students complete much of the coursework online and gather monthly for hands-on application. Students from all over western Oklahoma have completed the program with the majority of participants finishing the state certification portion of the program.
“Most of the graduates are actively involved in ag retail,” reported Keith Brownback, Ag Business Management Coordinator. “This includes pesticide applicators, sales, management, consultants and support industry.”
Other areas of significant impact include better safety practices, job retention and customer relations. Also, companies see a decrease in insurance claims and increased crop production and income.
Other materials covered in the program are Pesticide training for municipalities, homeowners, farmers, and lawn care providers and Pesticide and food safety training (produce handling and sanitation practices).
Graduates of the program will know how to be workforce safety leaders, protecting the well-being of themselves, fellow employees, customers, their communities, and the environment. The graduate of this program will have enough classroom and supervised hands-on instruction to immediately be an integral employee in an agribusiness company’s effort to harness technology, chemistry and equipment for the benefit of their customers.