During their second semester in Piedmont Community College’s (PCC) Agribusiness Technology program Tyler Amato and Stephen Slade registered to take the Pesticide exam offered by North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Both were successful in earning the official licensure.

The Mission Statement of the Pesticides Section of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is to protect the public health, safety and welfare, and to promote continued environmental quality by minimizing and managing risks associated with the legal use of pesticides through administration and enforcement of the N.C. Pesticide Law of 1971 and pursuant regulations adopted by the N.C. Pesticide Board.

Licensing is required for commercial applicators applying any type of pesticide for compensation, public operators working for a state or local government who apply pesticides in their course of work, dealers selling restricted use pesticides, or pest control consultants making recommendations for pesticide treatment of pest problems.

“One goal in agriculture is the over-all reduction of chemicals,” comments Kin Watlington, Agribusiness Technology instructor at PCC. “When we have professionals who are licensed in the field we are able to apply multiple strategies of integrated pest management to obtain this goal.”

Watlington went on to say, “This Department of Agriculture Pesticide exam is challenging and often times takes multiple attempts to pass. I’m proud of Tyler and Stephen for working hard in their Agribusiness courses and earning this licensure, especially being first-year students of this new program at PCC.”

About PCC’s Agribusiness Technology
The Associate in Applied Science degree program in Agribusiness Technology is based on the Caswell County Campus, and serves both Caswell and Person counties. Agribusiness Technology will prepare students for employment in a variety of agribusiness jobs such as store management, farm operations, wholesale and retail produce management, and environmental and agricultural education. Students will learn the fundamentals of agriculture, with emphasis placed on entrepreneurial and field training, as well as the basics of our economic system and government policies and programs relating to agriculture.

Classes offered beginning in August include:

Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture ( AGR 139 )

• Offered Monday & Wednesday, 12:30 – 1:50 p.m.
• Provides students with a clear perspective on the principles, history, and practices of sustainable agriculture in our local and global communities. Students will be introduced to the economic, environmental, and social impacts of agriculture.

Agricultural Chemicals ( AGR 140 )
• Offered Monday & Wednesday, 10 – 11 a.m.
• Encompasses all aspects of agricultural chemicals. Topics include safety, environmental effects, federal and state laws, pesticide classification, sprayer calibration, and licensing.

Ag-O-Metrics ( AGR 150 )
• Offered Tuesday & Thursday, 1:30 – 2:50 p.m.
• Introduces basic calculations for agricultural applications. Topics include the metric system, land measurement, feed efficiency, rate of gain, chemical calibration, and payroll.

Soil Science ( AGR 170 )

• Offered Tuesday & Thursday, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
• Covers the basic principles of soil management and fertilization. Topics include liming, fertilization, soil management, biological properties of soil (including beneficial microorganisms), sustainable land care practices and the impact on soils, and plant nutrients.

Farm Business Management ( AGR 212 )
• Offered Tuesday & Thursday, 10 – 11:20 a.m.
• Presents budgeting, farm analysis, production costs, business organizations, and general management principles. Topics include enterprise budgets, partial budgets, whole farm budgets, income analysis, and business organizations.

For additional information on upcoming classes, contact Kin Watlington at (336) 694-8090 or Kin.Watlington@piedmontcc.edu.

Photo: Tyler Amato and Stephen Slade, students in PCC’s Agribusiness Technology program

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