Are you curious about what is happening around the state with regard to weather conditions, how crops are fairing, and the ability for farmers to get out into the field? The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) provides this information each week from April through November in The Crop Progress & Condition Report. A group of volunteer reporters across the state provide feedback on these topics each week. The NASS compiles the data and publishes a report each Monday by 4 pm. Reports dating back to 2015 through the most current posting can be accessed here. The website also allows you to subscribe to receive updated reports and other information via email! Hopefully, this information will be useful in your daily operations!
A favorite part of early spring each year is hosting the annual East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference. This year 74 Ohio women travelled to Massillon to learn about everything from equine dental to conflict resolution, from beekeeping basics to appropriate farm tasks for children. This year’s keynote speaker was Marlene Eick who challenged and encouraged the women to know themselves well, and then to expect more.
There is something pretty special about being around a large group of people who want to learn more. I enjoy the energy and the questions. However, for me it is equally refreshing to have time to quietly reflect and research certain topics to greater depths. How are you doing in the learning department? Are you actively seeking out opportunities to learn more about a topic that interests you?
If there is something that you’ve always wanted to learn more about, make the choice this week to take the first step. Whether its reading a book that broadens your view of the world or a conversation with an expert who is passionate about a certain subject, I encourage you to expect more of yourself this week. But not in a guilty way like you should be pushing yourself to do more. Instead expect more of yourself in the noble way of pushing yourself to “be” more.
March is Women’s History Month and boy have we come a long way in making historical changes in society! Learn more about Women’s History month by visiting their site by clicking here.
Women have always been trailblazers, role models and empowered to inspire, invent and be a caregiver to human, animal and plant. From risk management focused on financial, human, legal, marketing and production in our business to juggling our ever changing family/daily life schedules to helping run the operation, women have and will always play an important role in making sure the everyday functions of our family, business and personal lives are in focus.
Wise words from mom that I keep posted in my office as a reminder to stay balanced everyday. “Just a wise word from mom – No matter how high you rise you still gotta shovel the *?*!!!”
I always told my high school ag students that “every opportunity was available on a silver platter but it was up to them to take those opportunities and go forth. I would help them with the opportunity but it was up to them to make the move first. It doesn’t matter what you do or how you do it; keep moving forward and giving your best. Success comes from continual effort and that you keep on trying. If you keep trying then I am there to help you along the way.” This seems to hold true in today’s world with women being scientist or 1 of every 3 owner/operators of their ag enterprise or a CEO of a large business. Women have been rising higher and higher in success and sometimes we still have to shovel the ?!!! to get through the tough spots.
Keep moving forward ladies!
It’s not too late! We are extending the registration deadline for the 2017 East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference until next Friday, March 17. Please tell anyone that you think would enjoy a day of fun, learning and networking.
This year’s conference will be Friday, March 24 from 9:00 am – 3:45 pm. The event will be held at R. G. Drage Career Technical Center, 2800 Richville Drive SE, Massillon, OH 44646.
This year’s program will feature 18 break-out sessions presented by OSU Extension educators, farmers, and partner agencies including: Business & Finance; Plants & Animals; Communication; Home & Family; Special Interest (energy, beekeeping and farmland preservation); and one youth session. Our keynote speaker for this year will be Marlene Eick of Herdmark Media.
We hope to see you there!
In 2015, EPA revised the Agricultural WPS originally enacted in 1992 to increase protections and reduce risks for agricultural employees and their families exposed to pesticides on farms, in forests, greenhouses and nurseries. This brief introduction will help determine if you fall under the revised WPS guidelines. Additional resources and the complete guide HOW TO COMPLY WITH THE 2015 REVISED WORKER PROTECTION STANDARD FOR AGRICULTURAL PESTICIDES are accessible via the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) website, http://pesticideresources.org//index.html.
Do you have responsibilities under EPA’s Worker Protection Standard (WPS)? The answer is YES if you are an agricultural employer, defined in the WPS as any person who is an owner of, or is responsible for the management or condition of an agricultural establishment, and who employs any worker or handler.
What is an agricultural establishment? An agricultural establishment is involved in growing, maintaining or producing agricultural plants (including fruits and vegetables; flowering and foliage plants and trees; seedlings and transplants) for commercial and/or research or experimental purposes. Commercial production includes production of plants for sale, trade or in-house use on the establishment or another facility. Nurseries, garden centers and similar operations where nursery and ornamental bedding plants are maintained for wholesale or retail sale are considered agricultural establishments for the purposes of the WPS and are covered by the rule if they use WPS-labeled pesticide products.
How do you know if a pesticide invokes WPS? The Agricultural Use Requirements box located on the pesticide label indicates that the product falls under WPS guidelines.
Do you employ workers or handlers?
A worker is anyone who is employed (including self-employed) in exchange for a salary/wages/other monetary compensation, and doing tasks directly related to the production of agricultural plants on an agricultural establishment (i.e., harvesting, weeding, carrying nursery stock, repotting plants, pruning or watering).
A handler is anyone who is employed (including self-employed) in exchange for salary/wages/ monetary compensation by an agricultural establishment or a commercial pesticide handling establishment that uses pesticides in the production of agricultural plants, and doing any of the following tasks:
- Mixing, loading, transferring, applying or disposing of pesticides,
- Handling opened containers of pesticides; emptying, triple-rinsing, or cleaning pesticide containers according to pesticide product labeling instructions; or disposing of pesticide containers that have not been cleaned,
- Acting as a flagger,
- Cleaning, adjusting, handling or repairing the parts of mixing, loading, or application equipment that may contain pesticide residues,
- Assisting with the application of pesticides, including incorporating the pesticide into the soil after the application has occurred, or dipping plant cuttings in rooting hormones that are registered pesticides,
- Entering a greenhouse or other enclosed space after application and before the inhalation exposure level listed on the pesticide product labeling has been reached or any ventilation criteria established by WPS (Chapter 3, Table 1. Entry Restrictions During Enclosed Space Production Pesticide Applications) or on the pesticide product labeling has been met to:
- Operate ventilation equipment,
- Adjust or remove coverings, such as tarps used in fumigation, or
- Check air pesticide concentration levels
- Entering a treated area outdoors after application of any soil fumigant to adjust or remove soil coverings, such as tarps, or
- Performing tasks as a crop advisor during any pesticide application, during any restricted-entry interval, or before any inhalation exposure level listed on the pesticide product labeling has been reached or any ventilation criteria established by WPS (Chapter 3, Table 1. Entry Restrictions During Enclosed Space Production Pesticide Applications) or on the pesticide product labeling has been met.
Are you exempt from some WPS requirements? The owners of agricultural establishments and their immediate family members must comply with some but not all WPS requirements provided that more than half of the equity in the establishment is owned by one or more members of the same immediate family. The definition of an immediate family member was expanded to include: spouse, parents, stepparents, foster parents, father‐in‐law, mother‐in‐law, children, stepchildren, foster children, sons‐in‐law, daughters‐in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, brothers‐in‐law, sisters‐in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and first cousins. Owners must provide full WPS protections for workers and handlers that are not immediate family members.
Did you know that all workers and handlers of agricultural employers must now receive ANNUAL WPS training before they perform worker or handler tasks? The previous WPS provision only required employee training every 5 years and allowed for a 5-day grace period after hire. The Revised WPS does not have a grace period and requires that employees receive WPS training within the last 12 months before:
- Any worker enters a treated area where a WPS-labeled pesticide product has been used or a REI for such pesticide has been in effect within the past 30 days.
- Any handler conducts any handling task (see above for a list of handler tasks).
Workers and handlers are exempt from WPS training if they are a certified restricted-use pesticide applicator, a certified crop advisor, or if a worker has been trained as a WPS handler within the last 12 months.
Employers must train workers and handlers annually, once every 12 months from the end of the month when the previous training was completed. Qualified WPS trainers can include a certified applicator of restricted-use pesticides, a trainer of certified pesticide applicators, handlers or workers by the EPA, federal, state or tribal entities; or someone who has completed an EPA-approved pesticide safety train-the-trainer program. Training must be provided in a manner that employees can understand. Several EPA-approved resources for training employees can be found in English and Spanish with or without closed-captioning at the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC), http://pesticideresources.org//index.html.
Employers must also keep records of worker/handler training for two years from the date of training. Records must include the following information:
- Worker or handler’s printed name and signature
- Training date
- Trainer’s name and qualification(s) to train
- Employer’s name
- Identification of EPA-approved training materials (for example, the EPA document or approval number)
Free WPS Workshops!!!
OSU’s Pesticde Education Safety Program is offering free WPS workshops that provide employers and managers what they need to bring their WPS program in compliance with the new requirements, including changes in training, restrictions during applications, personal protective equipment, decontamination supplies, recordkeeping, and more. Several workshops are scheduled in the next few weeks (WPS workshops flyer). Please click on one of the following dates to register!
March 13, 2017: Scarff’s Nursery & Landscape, New Carlisle, OH
March 23, 2017: Toledo Zoo, Toledo, OH, 9:30 to 12:30 PM
March 27, 2017: OSU 4-H Center, Columbus, OH, 9:30 to 12:30 PM
April 13, 2017: Lake County Education Service Center, Painesville, OH, 2:30 to 5 PM