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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Extension to host agriculture worker protection trainings in Artesia, Loving

The Environmental Protection Agency Worker Protection Standards for agricultural pesticides protect pesticide handlers and agricultural workers from harm. New Mexico State University's Eddy County Cooperative Extension Service is conducting workshops March 15 and April 12 to train employees about the standards.

On March 15, the Extension will conduct two workshops at the Agricultural Science Center at Artesia, located at Four Dinkus Road. A workshop conducted in English is scheduled at 10 a.m. A Spanish version of the workshop will be held at 1:30 p.m.

On April 12, Extension will conduct two workshops at the Hennery McDonald Shop in Loving, N.M. An English version of the workshop will be held at 10 a.m. and the Spanish version at 1:30 p.m.

The EPA Worker Protection Standards became enforceable after Jan. 1, 1995.

"These standards apply to nurseries, greenhouses, farms and forests - including places that produce paper products, pulp mills and Christmas tree farms - that employ workers and use pesticides," said Woods Houghton, agricultural Extension agent for Eddy County. "The workers have to be trained even if they do not handle pesticide, but have the potential to be exposed to pesticides at any time while at work."

Agriculture employers, if they are a licensed applicator, may train their employees, in which case Eddy County Extension has resources they may check out to do their own training, Houghton said. Workers must be trained every five years with a record of training.

Eddy County Extension will issue an EPA card to employees who attend the workshop for $1. These cards are good for five years.

Two Continuing Education Units will be issued to private pesticide license holders if they attend one session. At the end of each session employer responsibilities will be discussed as well as recordkeeping requirements. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture Inspectors will be making random checks to evaluate compliance.

For more information about the workshops or if you are an individual with a disability and need an auxiliary aid or service, contact Houghton at 505-887-6595 by March10 for the Artesia workshops and April 9 for the workshops in Loving. Houghton can also be reached by email at whoughto@nmsu.edu.