Meeting Cancellations: Due to the health concerns about the potential risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus, the University has decided to cancel all face-to-face meetings beginning March 16th. Nebraska Extension is fully committed to the health and well-being of Nebraskans. In a disease situation like COVID-19, the principle of social distancing is one of the main methods that can be used to help reduce the spread of the disease. Chancellor Ronnie Green has issued guidance that all UNL classes will move to ‘remote’ modes. To be consistent with that guidance, Nebraska Extension will, whenever possible, provide Extension programs remotely (video or teleconferencing) but will not provide in-person Extension programs, at least until May 9th. We recognize that this practice may create some level of disruption relative to the important information we provide to Nebraskans. This means that any in-person trainings that were planned during March and April in the Dawson, Buffalo, and Hall County regions have been cancelled at this time.
Private applicators that still need to obtain or renew their applicators license can complete the online training modules at https://psep.education/applicator/. The cost of the online training has been temporarily reduced to help with this unique situation. Applicators need to complete the exam questions in each learning module to pass each section. Participants can take the modules all at once or break up the sections based on their schedules. If the online option doesn’t fit your schedule, you may choose to contact the Nebraska Department of Ag and set up an appointment to take an exam at a testing site. Contact the NDA directly to set up a date and time to test in-person (402-471-2351; https://nda.nebraska.gov/contact.html). We may host another in-person pesticide training later this spring, but this will depend greatly on the spread of COVID-19 and if there is enough interest to host an in-person meeting during the growing season. This option will be discussed further, but we will keep the media posted if additional training options are available. For the time being, the best options for applicators to obtain or renew their pesticide license is to complete the online modules or set up an appointment to test with an NDA representative.
For chemigation recertification, applicators can complete the training online at https://water.unl.edu/article/agricultural-irrigation/chemigation. Recertifying chemigators do not need to take the exam at a testing site. They just need to complete the online modules. Initial applicators can also complete the online chemigation modules, but they will need to take an exam at their local Extension Office. Initial applicators will need to print out a certificate proving they completed the online modules and bring this with them to the testing site. After completing the online modules, initial applicators need to call their local Extension office to set up an appointment to complete their exam.
In addition to pesticide and chemigation trainings, we also had to cancel our in-person “Risk & Reward Workshop” on March 27th at the Buffalo County Extension Office. This program focuses on the role of farm location and yield/price relations in making informed grain marketing and crop insurance decisions. There is a possibility that this session may be held this summer, if there is enough interest and the COVID-19 situation allows in-person educational trainings at that time. Questions about the class can be directed to Jessica Groskopf (firstname.lastname@example.org; 308-632-1247) or Corey Walters (email@example.com; 402-472-0366).
We apologize for the inconvenience of having to cancel in-person trainings. We ask those affected to please be patient as we work through this situation. In addition to our ‘remote’ course offerings, we encourage Nebraskans to visit Extension’s website (https://extension.unl.edu/) as well as the Center for Disease Control’s website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html) to access a wide array of online information about COVID-19.