Pesticide Applicator Training Updates

If your pesticide applicator certification is due to be renewed, please read the important information below.

With the growing number of COVID-19 cases in our county and state, your safety is our top priority. We have made some changes and added some new options to this year’s private pesticide applicator training (PAT) program to help keep our communities safer. Here’s how this impacts you:

  • No in-person training is will be offered this winter (November 2020 through March 2021);
  • Online training will be available beginning December 1, 2020;
  • If a person cannot complete the online training, self-study testing is currently the only option;
  • Online testing is your only option this year.

PAT Manual

Reminder, you must purchase your training manual prior to taking an online training and/or testing. You can order your manual online at the PAT Store with a credit card, or use the mail form available at and send to the PAT program office with a check.

Purchasing a manual at the Extension Dunn County for $30 (cash or check only) may be available. Michelle Bachand, Support Specialist, can assist you with this on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (days and hours may vary). You must call ahead (715-232-1636) to request your manual and schedule an appointment for pickup as the Dunn County Community Services Building is restricted to public access.

Online training

Online training sessions are available starting in December 2020. Cost is $10 per person. Trainings are being held on:

  • December 1-14, 2020
  • January 1-14, 2021
  • February 1-14, 2021
  • March 1-14, 2021
  • April 1-14, 2021
  • May 1-14, 2021

To select one of these online training sessions, please visit the UW PAT Store at Scroll down on this page to “Private Applicator Training” located in the left column of the page. Click on General Farming 100/101. Then look for the B. “Online Private Applicator Training” main section of the page. Click on “Add to Cart” the online training session you would like to purchase. You should be taken to your shopping cart. Click the button “checkout” to enter your contact information, shipping information, and payment information.

After payment of an online training from the PAT Store, you can start the training anytime in the 14-day window you selected. However, just like the in-person training, you must complete this online training in one sitting. You will not be able to start and stop the sessions, except for the designated breaks that are built into the training. Allow yourself approximately 3.5 hours to complete.

After successful completion of the online training, you will receive a receipt that allows eligibility of the passing rate of 50% when you take your test. This is the same as if you had attended an Extension in-person training. A minimum passing rate of 70% is required on all self-study testing (if you choose not to participate in an online training).

Online Testing

Online testing will be provided by UW PAT Program and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP) for 2020/2021. Please visit for more information in December 2020. An online test will be available beginning with the December online trainings.

 Commercial testing

Another option is to test as a commercial applicator with WDATCP at an in-person testing location (Eau Claire, LaCrosse, Marathon, or Washburn). Commercial testing is a closed-book test. To schedule a test with WDATCP visit or call 608-224-54548 for information.

Who needs to get certified?

Finally, be sure to take a moment and see if you actually need to be certified. In some situations, individuals have realized they don’t need private pesticide applicator certification. Please review the criteria below.

You must be certified if you apply, mix and load, or direct the use of:

  • Any pesticide on a for-hire basis;
  • Any pesticide in or on public schools or school grounds (K-12 public schools);
  • Any pesticide in aquatic environments (may also be a requirement of permit).

You also must be certified if you:

  • Conduct pesticide-safety training for agricultural workers or pesticide handlers as required under the Worker Protection Standard (WPS).


You qualify as a private applicator if you meet both of the following criteria:

  • You use or direct the use of pesticides for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity (Means any plant or part of a plant, animal or animal product produced by a person primarily for sale, consumption, propagation, or other use by humans or animals. “Agricultural commodity” includes industrial hemp. [ 94.67(2) ];
  • The applications occur on land owned or rented by you or your employer, or on someone else’s land if for exchange of goods or services between agricultural producers.


A private applicator may make incidental applications on someone else’s land for monetary compensation provided the applications are for the production of an agricultural commodity. Unlike applications made for exchange of goods or services, however, applications made for money are limited to a total of 500 acres spanning applications for no more than 3 different agricultural producers in any calendar year; if you exceed either limit, you are considered a commercial applicator for hire.

Reminder, UW Extension educators/offices provide the education and training for private pesticide applicators. UW PAT program provides the training for commercial applicators. Certification and monitoring is completed by WDATCP.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate through this unprecedented situation together.

Please call the Dunn County office at 715-232-1636 or email if you have any questions about the online training program or online testing.


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