Quarles announces new ag industry certification for Kentucky high school students

New certification opens wide range of career pathways
Ryan Quarles

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 18, 2018) – Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles today announced a state partnership that will open a new career path for Kentucky high school students.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has added Agricultural Pesticide Applicator Certification to the list of qualified KDE industry certifications in a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). The certification would qualify students to immediately enter the pesticide application industry upon graduation, putting Kentucky high school graduates at the top of the list of candidates for these positions. This opens a wide range of career transition readiness pathways for Kentucky high schools students.

“Today’s announcement is a great example of the collaborative work the Kentucky Department of Agriculture can do to provide workforce development opportunities for students looking to make some extra money or jump right into a career,” Commissioner Quarles said. “I specifically want to thank David Wayne, KDA’s director of Environmental Services, for pulling this partnership together. We must look for every opportunity to create workforce solutions for individuals and small businesses if we are to make Kentucky a great place to work and live in the 21st century.”

The partnership plans to offer pesticide applicator certifications in the following categories: agricultural pest control, forest pest control, ornamental and lawn care, golf course turf care, interior plantscape care, and sports turf care.

Adam Hinton, CEO of Hinton Mills in May’s Lick, Ky., says the new pesticide applicator certification helps both Kentucky agricultural pest management businesses looking to hire and Kentucky students looking for work.

“At Hinton Mills, we offer custom ag spraying services, and we are always looking to hire people for the job,” Hinton said. “With this new certification, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Kentucky Department of Education are helping Kentucky ag businesses fill a need for dependable, educated employees while enabling students to launch a career in a steady field at an attractive wage.”

If you are a Kentucky teacher interested in offering agricultural pesticide applicator certification at your school, contact the Kentucky Department of Agriculture at (502) 573-0282.

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