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Private Applicator Training for Farmers, Ranchers, and Growers

Private applicators are individuals who use restricted use pesticides to produce agricultural commodities on property owned or rented by them or their employer. Example: farmers/growers. Restricted use pesticides are not labeled for home gardens. Therefore, a pesticide license is not required, nor available, for home gardeners.

Who qualifies as a private applicator?

You must be involved in the commercial production of agricultural commodities on your own farm or the farm of your employer to qualify as a private applicator. Home gardeners do not qualify for a private applicator license. All of the extension service training for certification or recertification of private applicators costs $20 per person. The license fee is a separate fee that must be paid to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture Plant Industries Division, Pesticide Section.

First-Timer Training (Initial Certification) for Private Applicators

For those that have never has a license or have let their license lapse for more than 5 years. 

There are two options for obtaining first-timer training:

Option 1
Attend a training conducted by county extension personnel. The available trainings are listed here:

Option 2
Watch the video training designed for the emergency certification of first-timers when no face-to-face meetings are available.

Contact your local county extension office for meeting information.

The emergency certification is good for only 1-year. 

Recertification Training for Private Applicators

Private applicators that have and want to maintain a license must be retrained (recertified) every 5 years in most cases.  There are two options for private applicator recertification:

Option 1
Attend a training conducted by county extension personnel.  The available trainings are listed below:

See list of Certification/ Recertification Training for Private Applicators (farmers)

Option 2
Take and complete the Online Recertification Training for Private Applicators.  This option takes the place of the face-to-face recertification trainings mentioned in Option 1.  The online training gives a full 5-year certification just like the face-to-face training.  

Emergency Certification & First Time Licensing

If you have never had a private applicator license and are unable to attend a county Extension conducted training session, there is an emergency procedure to obtain your certification. To obtain your certification and license in an emergency situation you can watch a 2-3 hour pesticide applicator training video in the county Extension office.

You must be aware that this emergency procedure will certify you for the current year only (instead of the five years provided by a regular recertification session) and may be used only once per individual. 

Even using this emergency procedure it may still take a few days to obtain your license because of the processing time required by the Arkansas State Plant Board. Please be aware that the Extension office will do everything possible to help you obtain your license in an emergency session, but the actual issuance of the license is the responsibility of the state plant board.

Emergency Recertification for Private Applicators

If you are unable to attend a Cooperative Extension Service-sponsored recertification session in your county by the required date there are two options for private applicators:

1. Attend a recertification session in another county. Your local county office can help you find another training session or you can go to the following Extension website to find other meetings: (make sure and look for "County Private Pesticide Applicator Training Sessions".


2. Take the private applicator exam administered by the Arkansas State Plant Board. Contact your county Extension office for more information and study materials.

If you have questions, comments, complaints, etc. about the pesticide licensing procedure, please call the Director of the Pesticide Division or the Assistant Director in charge of Certification and Training at the Arkansas State Plant Board (501-225-1598).