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Private Pesticide Applicators looking to recertify in 2021 should do so now

Tana Haugen-Brown, Extension Educator and Co-Coordinator, Pesticide Safety & Environmental Education Program

Private pesticide applicators who need to recertify in 2021 need to complete recertification by February 28, 2021 to avoid a gap in certification. 

Recertification for Private Pesticide Applicators looks a little different from previous years due to COVID-19 restrictions. For farmers with certifications that expire on March 1st, 2021, you can renew through 1 of 4 options this year. The cost is $75 for each option and recertification is good for three years.

Recertification options

Attend a live, online workshop

Attending a live online workshops via the Zoom platform will feature Extension Educators from your region. These have taken the place of in-person workshops for 2021 and are offered until February 24. You can attend from the comfort of your home or get together and attend with another applicator. Keep these things in mind:
  • Pre-register with your own email address. If you attend with someone else, everyone will need to pre-register prior using their own email address. 
  • You will need the following:
    • Reliable internet 
    • A working webcam, speaker, and microphone to interact with the presenters  
    • Remain online for the 4 hour recertification workshop. 
  • Have your certification card and number ready prior to attendance
Pre-registration closes by February 17 (or sooner if filled) and can be found by going to and looking under the “Live online workshop” tab. Workshops are organized by region, but you can choose any date. The $75 fee is paid by credit card online.

Online, self-paced course

Taking the self-paced Canvas Course is another new educational recertification opportunity for current certified private applicators. The course will take you through educational modules that you can complete at your own pace. Registration closes on February 24 and the course must be finished by February 28th. Register at under the “Self-paced course” tab. The $75 fee is paid by credit card online.

Online certification exam  

You may also take the certification exam online by going to the and clicking on the “Exams” tab. The $75 fee is paid by credit card.

Written certification exam

Finally, you may take the written certification exam that is available from most local Extension offices in the state. Please call ahead to check supplies and office hours. Mail the $75 fee made out to the “University of Minnesota” along with your exam answer sheet in the envelope provided.

The 19th Edition Manual is the current reference for the mail-in or online exam and is available for $10 at most county Extension offices or it can be viewed online at no cost at under the “Study manual” tab. Private pesticide applicators can also order the manual through the UMN Bookstore by phone, mail or online for $10 plus shipping and information can be found at the link above.

If you are a new applicator or your certification has lapsed, you must take either the online or mail-in exam to receive your certification. The last day to turn in either the online or mail-in exam in 2021 is October 31.

For more information

If you have questions regarding the private pesticide applicator recertification or certification options above, you can contact us at or by phone at 763-767-3840 or 763-260-4423, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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