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USDA Pesticide Coordinators

Federal Pesticide Chemical Coordinator Program - USDA - 1965

Successful educational programs in the area of agricultural chemicals including pesticides, drugs, food and feed additives require the combined efforts of numerous specialists in all program phases including planning, action, and evaluation. Each extension specialist concerned must individually and collectively come to an understanding and appreciation of what his contribution should be.

Role and Responsibilities of the Pesticide - Pest Control Program Leader

  • Pesticide safety education cannot be separated from the proper efficient use education programs. Much of the effort must continue to be an important part of the ongoing work of the state extension specialists, especially those personnel concerned with weed, insect, and disease control, chemical application methods, animal nutrition, and veterinary science. Safe use must be a responsibility and consideration of each of those staff members. In addition, wildlife, water, and public health specialists must concern themselves with certain phases of pesticide use.
  • It is necessary that the right climate and organizational structure be developed to provide good working relationships between state specialists. Obviously, for any given project, some specialists have greater contributions to make than others, and the structure should allow each individual to contribute in line with the needs for his capabilities.
  • Coordination is the key to success in these efforts. It is essential if a correct balance between combined and individual efforts are to be achieved. It is also essential if programs are to have direction.
  • In achieving a coordinated effort, it would seem logical that one individual should be appointed and held responsible for coordination and leadership of programs in the areas of weed, insect, and disease control, chemical application methods, feed and food additives and veterinary drugs. Such a chemical coordinator-program leader can help bring about the optimum effort on the part of each specialist as well as strengthen the working relationships between specialists.
  • The work of the chemical coordinator-program leader is a full time job. It is doubtful if he could devote much time to the specialist role, but rather should make a major effort in leadership and coordination, and as a staff consultant to specialists in his unique areas of competence, which includes State and Federal pesticide regulation and registration, residue problems and side effects, and safe use aspects.
  • In this respect, the chemical coordinator can assist with many of the functions of the Project leader. In addition, the coordinator can establish liaison and smooth working relationships with other branches of the university as well as Federal, State, and local agencies concerned with agricultural chemicals and pest control.
  • The coordinator should have authority commensurate with responsibility in order that the work may be accomplished.
  • The chemical coordinator should have suitable ability and experience and training to serve, if not in line administration, at least in a staff position as an important member of the group that guides policy direction and function within an extension service.

Responsibilities of the Chemical Coordinator - Program Leader

  • Development and maintenance of a chemical information and reference center that would contain:
    • Federal and State information on registration, uses, and residue restrictions for chemicals
    • Information on toxicology, hazards, side effect problems, etc., of these chemicals.
    • Federal and State law data such as -- FIFRA, FEDCA, MID, PID Inspection Acts as applies to chemicals. FAA and aerial applicators regulations, state laws governing pesticides.
  • Keep extension, experiment station, and other University personnel informed and up to date on all aspects of the information maintained in the chemical information center as it relates to their subject matter. In some extension services it may also be desirable to keep county extension personnel informed.
  • To coordinate extension service activities and programs in areas of pest control and agricultural chemicals including pesticides, food and feed additives, drugs, household pesticides and chemicals, etc.
  • To assist and provide leadership for extension specialists with development of their programs as they relate to chemical use and safety including problem identification, information release, communications, etc.
    • To conduct and assist with in-service professional improvement sessions for specialists and county agents.
    • To conduct and assist with "in-depth schools" for commercial and professional people associated with pesticide use.
  • To provide leadership for extension personnel in programs involving the so called safety aspects of pesticides including toxicity and injury problems, wildlife, and environmental hazard prevention.
  • To establish and maintain liaison with Federal, State, and local agencies involved with agricultural chemicals -- Such as: State Department of Agriculture, City and State Departments of Health, including poison control center organizations, State Department of Conservation, Fish and Game, State Department of Air and Water Pollution, United States Public Health Service, United States Food and Drug Administration, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Department of Agriculture, including PPC, ARS, FES, PRD, MID.
  • To oversee extension service programs to insure that educational programs in these areas are based on unbiased facts, that Extension Service preserve it educational integrity and function and that it stay out of regulatory function and does not become a pawn of special interest groups.
  • To aid other faculty members (research and teaching) in adhering to the rules and regulations of Federal and State agricultural chemical laws and college or University policy.
To take those steps necessary to insure that all chemical use educational programs of the Extension Service are in compliance with Federal and State regulation and will not result in harm to the user, other animals, plants, or environmental pollution

The preceding outline was formulated out of discussions held during the 1965 Federal Extension Service National Pesticide-Chemicals Workshop, Washington, DC and was compiled by the following group: H. Cole, Chairman, W. R. VanDresser, B. L. Bohmont, J. L. Pearson, and A. Gale. - November 18. 1965.

Implementation in Virginia

In 1965, an appropriation was passed by Congress that provided $2,100,000 in payments to the states for expansion of educational programs on the safe and proper use of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals, excluding fertilizers. Virginia's share of these funds was $41,732.
  • To support the allocation of these funds, Virginia Cooperative Extension Service submitted a plan of work that incorporated the following:
  • A statement of significant pesticide chemical problems of the people to be served which can be solved in total or in part by educational endeavor and a description of the situation which creates these problems. This is most important part of the total plan because it is here where you identify the specific problems and the specific situation which creates the problems.
  • A statement of the objectives which clearly outlines what will be done to solve the pesticide problem. Each objective should include the clientele involved, the action to be taken, and the planned changes which the action should bring about. It will be noted in this that it infers that you have a number of pesticide problems. Therefore, the objective could not be general but would have to be specific toward the specific pesticide problem.
  • A general statement describing Extension methods to be used in helping solve each of the problems. These methods should indicate coordination with other groups and techniques and activities to be used; such as, special studies, pilot or exploratory projects, demonstrations, radio and TV programs, publications, etc.
  • It will be noted in this part of the plan we must use methods to solve each of the specific problems outlined under number 1.
  • The plans for evaluation of progress and accomplishments, which indicate what methods and techniques of evaluation will be used and when intermediary and final accomplishments of evaluation are done.

Dated August 31, 1964 by P. H. DeHart, Associate Director, Agricultural Extension Service of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, VA.