Western Farm Press and the California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA), whose members play a key role in California's $35 billion agricultural economy, have joined in a partnership to expand the availability of online continuing education courses for California's nearly 4,000 licensed pest control advisers.

The six online courses were developed by Western Farm Press, a Prism Business Media Inc. publication, and accredited for 14 hours by DPR, are now available through CAPCA's Web site at www.capca.com as well as www.westernfarmpress.com.

All courses are accredited for continuing education hours for not only Pest Control Advisers (AA), but the state's 17,000 Qualified Applicators (QAC, QAL), 18,000 licensed Private Applicators (PA) and almost 400 aerial applicators.

Four of the courses also are accredited for continuing education for private applicator/consultants licensed by the Arizona Department of Agriculture.

Most of the courses also are accredited for continuing education hours for both California and Arizona Certified Crop Advisers.

All courses are offered free on both Web sites.

In addition, Western Farm Press will become a major sponsor of CAPCA's annual conference, scheduled for October at Anaheim, Calif. The Western Farm Press online continuing education program will also be featured in an article in the pre-conference issue of the organization's official magazine, CAPCA Adviser.

The online courses are developed based on resources and information from experts and specialists at the University of California's Agricultural and Natural Resources Division and the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Course topics range from pest management in almonds to insecticide and weed resistance management, pesticide handling safety, spray drift management and California's new groundwater protection regulations.

CAPCA tracks all continuing education courses for PCAs and other state of California licensees for the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and Certified Crop Advisers.

“This partnership responds to the growing demand for online continuing education opportunities from 80 percent of our organization's members in a recent survey,” said Terry Stark, CAPCA executive director. “Our records indicate completions of Western Farm Press' online courses are double that of the next nearest online course provider. The combination of Western Farm Press' course development resources and proven track record of success make this alliance with Western Farm Press clearly a win-win situation for our organizations.”

“We're pleased to be working with CAPCA to expand the availability of online continuing education courses via its Web site,” added Greg Frey, publisher of Western Farm Press. “Over the past few years, the agricultural world has clearly recognized that the 24/7 convenience of online CEUs allows professionals to attend classes and earn continuing education units, without having to be away from the job.”

The courses allow participants to review a series of text sections, followed by questions. All questions must be answered correctly to complete the course. As participants complete courses, they notify an online administrator at Western Farm Press, which reports credit information to Cal-EPA, Arizona Department of Agriculture and CCA.

Western Farm Press offered its first online continuing education course in 2004. Since then more than 4,200 Farm Press online CEUs have been completed to date. The courses are free, based on sponsorship of Western Farm Press' major advertisers, including Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, Valent USA, Chemtura and Monsanto.

Other Prism publications providing online CEU courses include the Southwest Farm Press, whose courses are certified by the Texas and Oklahoma Departments of Agriculture. In addition, a national American Society of Agronomy CCA course is available on Prism's Corn and Soybean Digest, Farm Industry News, Apply, Delta Farm Press, Southeast Farm Press and Southwest Farm Press Web sites.


e-mail: hcline@farmpress.com