UC Davis is set to receive a total of $6 million in funding support to promote safe pesticide use. The funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be dispersed over a five-year period. The cooperative agreement between EPA and UC Davis is intended to advance the development of materials and projects to improve pesticide safety. UC Davis will be using the funding to expand the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) initiative.
“We are honored to have been chosen to continue this work, building upon the success of the past five years building PERC. It has become a true ‘collaboration station,’ bringing together the best-qualified professionals to create the best content to make the most impact,” Director of Pesticide Education Programs at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education, Suzanne Forsyth said in a news release. “We look forward to strengthening and building partnerships as we tackle new challenges, striving to educate target audiences about pesticides with the goal of protecting humans, communities and ecosystems.”
PERC 2.0 is the second phase of the overall program tasked with developing educational resources related to pesticide use. UC Davis will be working with EPA on the creation and sharing of resources to provide information on pesticide safety. The collaboration will also support the implementation of the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard and Certification of Pesticide Applicators regulations. The resources on safe pesticide use are aimed at protecting agricultural workers, pesticide handlers and applicators, along with their communities.
Information developed under the PERC program has been well received. More than 75,000 PERC resources were accessed online in 2020. Videos, pamphlets, and multilingual manuals were among the new resources developed through the initiative. A greater focus will be placed on applicator certification programs under PERC 2.0. Updating training and examination materials will be one of the main priorities. New initiatives will also be pursued related to community-based projects to provide more targeted pesticide education and training materials.