Private Applicator Program

The Montana Private Applicator Program is facilitated by MSU Pesticide Education Program that coordinates the certification needs of private applicators applying restricted use pesticides on property they own, rent, or lease that is used as an agricultural commodity.

Information on obtaining a Montana Private Pesticide Applicator license can be found by contacting your local MSU Extension Agent, The Montana Private Applicator Program MontGuide, or MSU Pesticide Education website.

 

Certification

Private applicators must be licensed prior to purchasing and using a pesticide designated by the Department of Agriculture as a restricted use pesticide. To become certified for the first time, an applicator (initial applicator) has two options:

  1. Complete the 50 question open book Montana Private Applicator Certification Examat their local extension office and pass it with a 70% or better

  2. Attend a 6-hour training session and take an ungraded 50 question open book 'ungraded quiz'.These 6 hour sessions must adhere to criteria set forth for Initial Programs.

The agent will go over the exam with individuals that answered less than 70% of the questions correctly or they will go over the correct answers to the 'ungraded quiz' after completion by the applicators.

Upon successful completion of the certification exam:

  1. The agent notes the exam score on the Application For A Farm Applicator Special Use Permitthat is provided by the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA).

  2. The agent signs the application in the appropriate box.

  3. The agent gives the application to the applicator, who mails it and fees to the MDA. 
    OR
    The agent collects the fee from the applicator and sends it and the permit to the MDA.

  4. The applicator will then receive a permit in the mail and will be entered into the MDA private pesticide applicator database. 

If an applicator allows their certification to lapse by not attaining 6 recertification credits prior to the January 1st deadline, and they wish to apply RUPs, they must take a closed book Montana Private Applicator Certification Examwithin the 12 months after their license expired. The lapsed applicator can once again take the open book exam 12 months after his license lapses. The lapsed applicator has the option of attending a 6-hour initial certification training session and taking the 50 question open book 'ungraded quiz' at any time.

IMPORTANT NOTE:Those individuals who enter the system prior to June 30th of the 3rd year of their certification cycle must accrue 6 recertification credits before the end of the recertification cycle in order to be eligible to renew. Initial applicators who attain their license after June 30th of the 3rd year of their certification cycle will be pro-rated 3 recertification credits and would only need to accumulate 3 recertification credits in order to be eligible for renewal. Initial applicators who get their license in the last 12 months of their certification cycle will be pro-rated 6 recertification credits and would not need to accrue any credits before the end of their certification cycle. 

For example, Applicator John Doe lives in Gallatin County (Region 2). For this example, his recertification cycle is from January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2009. He takes the 50 question exam at his local extension office on May 19, 2008 (4th year of the recertification cycle).  He needs to obtain only 3 private applicator credits by the end of December 31, 2009.  On the other hand, Jane Doe, who also lives in Gallatin County, received her license on April 15, 2009 (5th year of recertification cycle).  She DOES NOT need to get any private credits to recertify.

 

Staying Certified
Once an individual has received their private pesticide license they are termed as recertifying applicators. In order to be eligible to renew their private (farm) licenses for another 5 year cycle, recertifying applicators have two options:

  1. Complete the 50 question closed book Montana Private Applicator Certification Examduring the last year of their certification cycle and pass it with a 70% or better. The agent will go over the exam with individuals that answered less than 70%.

  2. Accrue 6 pesticide recertification credits over the course of the 5 year recertification cycle for their region.  The accrual of the 6 credts does not need to take place all in the recertification year but can be spread out over the 5 year period.


If an applicator allows their certification to lapse and they want to apply RUPs, they must either take a closed book Montana Private Applicator Certification Examwithin the 12 months after their license expired, or attend a 6 hr initial private applicator training program and take an ungraded quiz.