E-communications from the Pesticide Safety and Environmental Education program may include workshop updates, newsletter, applicator licensing information, registration deadlines, or other pesticide safety news and event information.
We provide pesticide education and resources for certified and licensed applicators, those seeking certification, and other professionals needing related training.
Pesticide applicator licenses and certification cards are issued through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). Contact them:
- email@example.com (email is preferred)
Certification and licensing requirements
Commercial, Noncommercial and Structural applicators
Commercial pesticide applicator licenses are for anyone who applies any pesticide “for hire.” For hire means you charge or invoice for the service.
Noncommercial licenses are for all pesticide applicators that apply Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) as part of their job on property owned or controlled by their employer, or for two or more governmental units sharing resources through a joint powers agreement. Any pesticide application to a golf course (RUP or general use) must be performed by a licensed applicator.
Structural pest control applicator licenses are for applicators that apply pesticides in, on, under or around structures.
- How to certify or recertify as a private applicator
- Check to see if your certification status is current
Private applicators apply pesticides to lands or sites they own, rent, or manage for the production of an agricultural commodity. Typically farmers and their families who apply Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) to their land can apply for a Private Certification.
Certifying for Commercial, Noncommercial and Structural applicators: Taking and passing the exams that measure competency in specific use categories that meet federal and state eligibility requirements and completing the licensing process through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).
Certifying for Private applicators: Taking and passing an exam(s) that measures competency in specific use categories that meet federal and state eligibility requirements. University of Minnesota Extension administers this exam in our state.
Recertifying: To recertify, you have the option to take a test or attend a recertification workshop.
Renewing for Commercial, Noncommercial and Structural applicators: You must renew by the expiration date on your pesticide applicator license.
Commercial/noncommercial and structural applicators
Certification exams are administered and regulated by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and are available in English. Taking and passing the exam is required to get a license. Learn more about exams from the MDA.
The Private Pesticide Applicator Certification exam is required for initial certification, or if your private applicator certification has expired. Find out more about exams for private applicators.
Commercial, noncommercial and structural applicators
Study manuals are available at University of Minnesota Bookstores.
- You can also call 612-301-3989 to order manuals and pay by credit/debit card.
- Or download and print an order form to mail your order and pay by check.
- To purchase in-store, please call ahead to the Coffman Memorial Union Bookstore or St. Paul Student Center Bookstore to be sure the study manuals you want are in stock.
- All applicators are required to take the National Pesticide Core Exam and at least one additional category to get a license.
- You will need both the A-1 and A-2 manuals.
- (A-1) National Pesticide Applicator Core Manual, 2nd edition, 2014
- (A-2) Core Minnesota Supplement, 2nd edition (green cover), December 2012 (commercial, noncommercial and structural)
- You will also need the manuals for the specific categories you want to be licensed in to prepare for the Core Exam. To find the category you need, visit the MDA webpage to determine your license type.
See information about Private applicator study manuals on the private applicator's page.
Worker Protection Standard
- Worker Protection Standard Compliance Assistance Library
- EPA's Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS)
Many pesticide products on the market require a respirator for safe use. To safely wear a respirator and comply with the pesticide label and the Worker Protection Standard, you must be medically cleared and fit tested. Check with your local clinic about both procedures. If your clinic does not offer these services, here are some online sites where you can complete a medical evaluation without have to visit a medical professional in person. Sites may charge a fee for their services.
Online medical clearance options
- 3M Online Respirator Medical Evaluation
- Or print a medical evaluation form (English) and bring it to a medical provider for review.
Learn more about respirators and how to use them
- Worker Protection Standard Respiratory Protection Guide
- WPS Respiratory Protection Guide: Requirements for Employers of Pesticide Handlers - Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative
- Ag Health and Safety Alliance Respirator Resources
- Four steps to choosing the right respirator and wearing it safely
- Respiratory Protection for Occupational Users of Pesticides - Rutgers
- Pesticide Worker Protection Standard “How to Comply” Manual - EPA
Minnesota Department of Agriculture Updates
Dicamba label changes for Minnesota
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given approval to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) state-specific use restrictions for three dicamba herbicide products in Minnesota. The restrictions are aimed at curbing off-site movement of the products. The affected dicamba formulations are Engenia by BASF, Tavium by Syngenta, and XtendiMax by Bayer. These are the only three dicamba products labeled for use on dicamba-tolerant soybeans.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updates
Enlist One and Enlist Duo use expanded
Following the thorough review of a proposed label amendment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of Enlist One and Enlist Duo in 134 additional counties, providing growers with additional weed management options for the 2022 growing season.
Paraquat Dichloride training for certified applicators
EPA issues notice of intent to suspend the herbicide DCPA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is issuing a notice of intent to suspend (NOITS), which when effective, will prevent the sale, distribution, and use of the technical-grade product containing the pesticide dimethyl tetrachloroterephthalate (DCPA).
The PSEE team
The PSEE team believes that quality education and responsible management of pests and pesticides are essential to public health, safety, and environmental protection.
We partner with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to provide workshops and other support for private, commercial/noncommercial, and structural applicators that meet the requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Minnesota Pesticide Control Statutes.
We provide education and leadership for anyone who uses pesticides on farms, in buildings, for the management of natural resources and landscapes, and at home. We focus on topics related to safety, health, security, and environmental protection using integrated pest management (IPM) and occupational safety frameworks with substantial economic and quality-of-life impacts.
Linda Johns, associate director
Linda has been the UMN Extension PSEE associate director since 2019. Linda directs the UMN Extension PSEE programs for the state of Minnesota. She is dedicated to working closely with Extension faculty and administration to strategically integrate educational efforts.
Jolene Warnke, commercial and noncommercial program manager
Jolene has been with the UMN PSEE team since February 2020. She holds degrees in environmental science and teaching with additional graduate work in agriculture and natural sciences. In her role, she coordinates with academic, government and industry professionals to develop educational materials and curricula. She also facilitates pesticide safety certification and recertification training events for commercial and noncommercial applicators throughout Minnesota.
Tana Haugen-Brown, private applicator program manager
Tana Haugen-Brown has been an Extension educator with the UMN Extension PSEE program since 2009. She develops educational materials and curricula and provides leadership for the private pesticide applicator program. She works with and educates local producers to become certified or recertified.
Mary Sue Stothart, private applicator administrative assistant
Mary Sue Stothart joined the PSEE team in November of 2019 and manages the workshop and exam data for the private applicators. She provides a variety of other support services for the team.
Commercial, noncommercial (CNC)
Jolene Warnke, Extension educator and program manager
763-767-3842 or 763-310-1676
Private applicator (PPAT)
Tana Haugen-Brown, Extension educator and co-coordinator
Mary Sue Stothart, administrative assistant
PPAT general information
Weather cancelations (PPAT workshops only)
Contact the Farm Information Line.
1-800-232-9077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Structural, stored grain and fumigation, and food processing certification
Stephen Kells, Extension entomologist