MI Pesticide Applicant Questions

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Mimowerman, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Mimowerman

    Mimowerman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    I am the owner/operator of a small lawn care company in Novi, Mi and was interested in becoming certified in applying pesticides/fertilizer. As I understand the rules correctly as a new applicant I have to work for somebody for two years to attain my license??? I can't take two years off my successful company to get this , is their any way around this ? It also states they may make exceptions, What would a example of this be??? I do not have a degree or any formal education in pesticide application .help!!! ;)
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,911

    Its is a stupid law. Designed mainly to make it difficult for new competitors and former employees to enter the business.

    Not sure how to get around it. But you do have two years successful experience spraying your own lawn--right? i think you can get your personal certification after taking the tests--but then you still need your pesticide Application Business License.

    Maybe if you got certified in 10 categories--that would impress them that you are serious. But maybe you can hire an experienced applicator. Or work with a licensed business doing some of their weed spraying part time as a subcontractor.

    Anybody else know of exceptions to the 2 year experience rule?
  3. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 655

    The first thing you need is to get your applicator license certification for turfgrass 3A. If you have been treating lawns for two years the MI Dept of AG may consider this experience even if you have been treating lawns without a license. The business license is required if you put yourself out for hire. My contacts with the Mi AG Dept have allways indicated that they would work with companies ... even those that have operated illegally... just to get them on the straight and narrow. Basically it's easier for them to keep tabs on you if they have you on their list. I would suggest you contact them and tell your story. Operating without an applicators license or your business license can put you at considerable risk .
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I know 2 people around here that tried this route - unsuccessfully. They said they absolutely needed the certified experience, and needed the sworn statement form that requires the info of the company that gave the experience.
    One way around this, is to actually hire a full time licensed applicator to work for your company for th two years that you can also spray under. This allows your company to carry a license, and if you are certified in th given categories, you can spray under this license and person, as well. It won't hurt to ask, though.
  5. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,540

    That sucks not like that in pa.
  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    In NY, we can take a 30 hour course by a DEC certified instructor and take the certification test, OR have two years of apps under a certified applicator to be eligable for the test. Speaking of which, I just took mine tonight. I am now a Certified Pesticide Technician" in NY state. I have to do a year as a tech (same as an applicator, but no restricted use stuff and can't supervise) for one year. Then, I can get some more class hours and get the full "Applicator's Certificate" next year.

    In NY, they want everyone to be legal, and they make the test fairly difficult. At least that way they know that applicators have some training, instead of being illegal and knowing nothing. The failure rate in NY is 45% state-wide.
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,911

    No license needed for fert applications. Perhaps you have two years experience doing your own lawn and your mother's lawn, (legal if not doing it for hire--or your own property). Or your own farm. Keep trying. Call your legislator or the governor--they might have sympathy with you if they realize how anti-business the law really is. Its hurting the state of Michigan and how your children are starving because you can't earn a living, unless you default on your mortgage and move to Ohio.

    You state legislator has plenty of leverage--they can scare the pants off your average Dept Ag flunky. Give it a try. Be sure to offer to put lots of campaign signs in your front yard when the time for relection comes up.

    Point out that you can't get experience by working for Tru Green or many other companies, because they have non-compete agreements that last for two years. So you can get experience, however you can't compete with your former employer. Michigan actually enforces these onerous agreements, although they are illegal in California, Colorado and Oregon, and not enforced in most other states.

    Hope this helps.
  8. miketull8

    miketull8 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    I went into my local office and explained that I needed to take the Commercial Applicators Test....they never asked ANY questions, just told me when the test was, where it was, and encouraged me to purchase the Michigan Commercial Applicator Core Manual. They gladly took my money for the manual and put my name on the list to take the test. Did I get lucky? Am I taking the right exam? Any help really appreciated....trying to do the right thing!!!
  9. SpreadNSpray

    SpreadNSpray LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 363

    Great idea!
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    they aren't going to ask questions...they are just there to assist you on what you need or ask for. If you asked for the info on the commercial applicators test, they probably assumed you knew what you were after. Regardless if you were going to the certified tech test, or the commercial applicator test, (you may take either one) you're in good shape, because they are tested at the same time and location. You can take the licensed applicator test, that will be fine. Also, the Core manual is the same...there are just additional sections in it for the applicators test. However, afterward, you will still need the two years certified experience in order to apply for the MDOA license as a licensed applicator business.
    I hope this info helps.

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