Herbicide Training and Testing

This year's Herbicide Training and Testing Workshop, held as usual at the Brookfield Zoo's Discovery Center, will be held early this year. In fact the deadline for registering is Monday, October 25th. So If you'd like to get a license, the details are contained in this notice from the VSN:

This year the Volunteer Stewardship Network will be hosting the Annual Herbicide Training and Testing Workshop on November 3, 2010 at the Brookfield Zoo. (Please note: this year, the workshop will be held in November instead of January). This earlier training will allow volunteers more time to receive their new/renewed licenses and will allow their important winter invasive species control work to continue without much interruption. A flyer with the details and registration information is attached. The deadline to register is Monday, October 25.

In a nutshell, here is what I need from you to register: your name, phone number and/or email address (if applicable), your landowner/sponsoring agency, what license you are pursuing (Operator or Applicator), if you are getting an Operator license, what is the name of the person with the Applicator license you will be working under, if Applicator, what additional category you will be taking (Right-of-way and/or Aquatic, etc.) and if you are planning on attending the morning training session or just the test in the afternoon.

Don’t know if you need to retest? The IL Dept. of Agriculture sends out renewal forms the first week in November, so unfortunately, your agency may not receive them in time to let you know that you need to renew. I recommend contacting your agency to have them call the IL Department of Agriculture in Springfield (217) 785-2427, ask for licensing and certification, and they can let them know who needs to retest, or feel free to contact them individually. Be sure to let them know that your training and testing clinic is scheduled in early November, so you need the information today. Next year, we may schedule a date later in November or early December to accommodate for this. This is the first year we are doing the workshop early…so we have to work out these bugs. Sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused.

A couple of important changes starting this year:
The University of Illinois Extension is no longer able to provide the training for free. They have generously provided this training for several years at no cost and we are very grateful for their service. This year, the staff of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County staff will be conducting the training portion. Many thanks to the District for picking up this very important training.

Starting this year, the “public not-for-hire” herbicide licenses will no longer be free. The cost is $15 for an Operator license and $20 for an Applicator license per year. Payment will be due AFTER the workshop when the agency/volunteer receives their application in the mail. Payment will be required when they return the signed application form. Volunteers may want to check with their agency on a possible reimbursement for this cost and/or to make sure payment is included with their follow up application form.

Please pass this email along to anyone you know who needs to renew or receive their herbicide license. As in the past, the Illinois Department of Agriculture will only offer this training and testing if we have at least 50 attendants at this workshop. Usually we have no problem meeting that number, but with all the changes this year, we may need the help getting the word out.

Best Wishes,
Karen Tharp
VSN Coordinator
The Nature Conservancy

I personally won't be able to attend due to a work commitment, and it's time for me to be retested. So when I know the best alternative to this session, I'll post it here.


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