The month of February is National Pesticide Safety Education Month. To honor that the blogs this month are highlighting the various people and organizations working in this area. Up first is an organization, that has become my new home, the American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators (AAPSE). A very fitting group for me because I do pesticide safety education every day.
The tagline for AAPSE is “Protecting Human Health and the Environment Through Education”. This very nicely mirrors the EPA statement about labels not posing an unreasonable risk of harm to people or the environment. AAPSE is dedicated to being a society where pesticide safety educators can find common support, share ideas, and ultimately serve to enhance pesticide safety across the country. Because of this group pesticide safety continues to improve in America.
Originally it started as a way for the Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEP) from across the US to gather together. They discussed collective ways to make their programs better. It started as ONLY allowing these PSEPs (one from each state) to attend. Over the years it has become a much more diverse and vibrant society today that includes state agencies, pesticide manufacturers, county extension faculty, EPA representation and beyond. Because of this shift the society has become a group dedicated to all facets of pesticide safety education.
I was lucky enough to be on the strategic planning committee discussing the future. We had the most experienced PSEPs steeped in the history of the society and newcomers like me, and everything in between. Because of this diversity we could all share the belief that pesticide safety education is paramount, and this organization can and should be at the forefront.
On a personal note, I will highlight how gracious and welcoming this group has been to me. I am not new to pesticides; having worked with and around them for over 20 years. I am new to AAPSE, joining in 2019. Yet they made me feel like family right away. Across this country there are hardworking people that passionately care about advancing pesticide safety. You will find almost all of them at AAPSE.
Check out their website, check in with the PSEP in your state (Florida, you have me 😊) and learn more about what pesticide safety is all about. I can’t think of a group more fitting to kick of National Pesticide Safety Education Month than the American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators.
American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators – https://aapse.wildapricot.org/
Pesticide Stewardship – https://pesticidestewardship.org/national-pesticide-safety-education-month/