PACT Focused Discussions
An important component of the EPA Cooperative Agreement with Michigan State University is to explore new issues related to Pesticide Applicator Certification and Training (C&T) and the revised Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Collaboration Teams (CT) are the structure created to explore new issues in depth. A number of new issues have been identified and Collaboration Teams have been formed, some dating back to the PACT meeting in August of 2018. As other issues arise, new Collaboration Teams have or will form. The focused discussions Wednesday afternoon at PACT will provide an opportunity for attendees to explore issues currently being addressed by Collaboration Teams as well as some new issues that may warrant the formation of a new Collaboration Team. Thursday morning will provide an opportunity for: existing Collaboration Teams to meet to develop a plan of action for the coming year and for team members to discuss issues in depth; and for continuing discussions from Wednesday about the formation of new Collaboration Teams. Wednesday’s Focused Discussions and Thursday’s Collaboration Team meetings are open to all participants interested in the specific topic or issue at hand.
Focused discussion breakout sessions will take place in-person and virtually on Wednesday, July 21st from 1:30 – 3 p.m. During this breakout discussion time focus area leaders will facilitate begin discussion and provide an overview of any prior highlights of key focus areas and project work within each topic area. At the conclusion of the focused discussion breakouts all breakout attendees will reconvene together to allow leaders from each focused discussion group to provide a wrap up. A deeper dive by Collaboration Teams as described above into each of these focused discussions will take place on Thursday, July 22nd from 8:00 a.m. until Noon with breakfast and lunch provided for those choosing to participate in further team discussions. If you are unsure of which focused discussion group may be the right fit for you see descriptions and information about current work highlighted for each team below.
Focused Discussions/Collaboration Team Descriptions
- Pacific Islands – During the Pacific Island Collaboration Team (PICT) session at PACT the team will meet to review their progress, discuss projects in process, new needs, establish priorities, and a plan to move forward in the coming year and the future. The PICT is made up of individuals who have a specific interest pesticide safety education and training in the Pacific Islands. The Pacific Island Collaboration Team (PICT) is a diverse group of representatives made up of regulators, educators, industry, and federal agencies. The was a life long goal of Hawaii Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) coordinator Barry Brennan, which came to fruition with a Needs Assessment workshop in April of 2019 where a group of 29 diverse individuals collaborated to determine educational needs, priorities, and potential cooperative projects.
- Invasive Species – A 2005 study estimated that the economic damages associated with invasive species in the United States reached approximately $120 billion/year (FWS 2012). Invasive species is a cross-cutting issue within a number of other Collaboration Teams (CTs). The Pacific Islands and Caribbean Islands CTs have identified invasive species as a major factor as part of their needs assessment. Invasive species is also a critical issue relative to Pollinations and within IPM. The Invasive Species CT works closely with these other CTs. Discussions at PACT will focus on identifying and prioritizing how best to address invasive species from a pesticide safety education and WPS perspective in support of other CTs and we will also explore an idea for a major initiative with an invasive species focus.
- Respirator – During the Respirator Collaboration Team (RCT) session PACT meeting the team will meet to review their progress, discuss project in process, new needs, establish priorities, and a plan to move forward in the coming year and the future. The RCT is made up of individuals who have a specific interest and expertise regarding respirator use during crop production and pesticide application. Anyone can join the RCT, the goal is to have a diverse representation of perspectives. The RCT was established in the fall of 2017 during a respirator fit test outreach swing through northeast states, and served as a template for future Collaboration Teams, with the overall goal to bring a diverse group of team members with this common interest together to establish priorities for educational needs and a plan to meet those needs and serve as a peer review for materials developed.
- IPM- A national collaboration team to identify and address educational needs and issues where IPM and Pesticide Safety education and outreach overlap. The group focus discussion session will have panelists who will describe activities and accomplishments in their programs. The organizations represented will be 1. IPM in Schools, 2. National IPM Coordinating Committee, 3. the National Stakeholder Team IPM Working Group, 4. USDA Regional IPM Centers, 5. the IPM Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Website program, and possibly, 6. The National Association of Landscape Professionals.
- Pollinators – The purpose of the Pollinator Collaboration team is to amplify existing pollinator messages and provide support services in working with PSEPs and others in the industry . Our mission is to educate and inspire today’s youth to ensure future generations have the passion to protect pollinators in the future.
- Caribbean Islands – This team brings together stakeholder from the United States Territories – US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Together team has assessed needs and determined common topics to address, including Spanish language training resources and educational materials, professional exchanges to share best practices and further understand need, Integrated Pest Management and invasive species.
- Farmworker – This team will bring together stakeholders working with farmworkers to establish a common agenda needed and areas of focus to strengthen implementation of the Worker Protection Standard.
- Certification and Training – This session is designed for state lead agencies and EPA regional staff to discuss certification plan implementation as required by the revised certification standards for pesticide applicator.
Swoogo Platform (Virtual Attendance)
While we would love to see everyone in-person at PACT we know that there may be many barriers to in-person attendance and that is why we are excited to announce that PACT 2021 will be a hybrid event with the use of the virtual event platform, Swoogo for PACT virtual participants. Swoogo will allow participants who will be joining virtually to experience PACT real time including live broadcast of conference general sessions, concurrent breakout sessions, networking receptions. Virtual participants will also be able to connect with representative’s conference resource tables. For a deeper look at Swoogo visit https://get.swoogo.com/hybrid-events. Participants who register to attend PACT virtually will be sent Swoogo connection information and instructions to register at least one week prior to the conference start date.
We know that your plans to attend PACT may change, no worries! If you need to change your reservation for any reason to either attend in-person or virtually please contact Ashley Schwieterman with ANR Event Services at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to adjust your registration as needed.
Resource tables are available to all state and federal agencies, related businesses and non-profit organizations, universities, community colleges, and tribes at no cost.
Organizations/groups that will be hosting an in-person resource table at the Sheraton will also be available to virtual attendees through the Swoogo platform. In-person resource tables will be set-up for the duration of the conference and will be located in the general session ballroom. Tables will be 6/8ft in length and will be spaced 6 ft apart. They will be covered along with pipe & drape backdrop and will have electric plug in capabilities. Health and Safety guidelines listed on the conference website should be followed by all resource table participants. Specific health and safety guidelines will be emailed to all resource table participants prior to the start of the conference.
Virtual Resource Tables
If your organization or group is not able to attend in-person and would like to host a virtual resource table via the Swoogo platform you may register your virtual resource table online and a member from the ANR Event Services team will reach out to you directly to design your virtual presence and upload all necessary information.
Room Reservations (Allowable Nights) & Travel
Participants who need overnight accommodations should contact Ashley Schwieterman at email@example.com to receive information about lodging options and updates. As of July 1st the PACT Conference room block at the Sheraton is full and sold out.
An additional group room block has been confirmed at the Holiday Inn Express located at 1715 Tremont Place Denver for participants still needing overnight accommodations for the PACT Conference. When booking your reservation you will be asked for a credit card to hold the reservation. Upon check-in your 3 nights of room charges will be directed to the group master bill. Each participant is responsible for booking their own room reservation to ensure that the check-in, check-out dates and personal information on the reservation is correct. Please review your confirmation information for policies regarding cancellation. Should you need to cancel your reservation please do so within the allotted time frame listed on your confirmation email. Cancellations taking place outside the allowable timeframe will be charged to the personal card on file. Should you need to modify your reservation contact the Holiday Inn directly via the contact information located on your confirmation message.
The PACT conference will take place at the Sheraton Downtown Denver which is located at 1550 Court Place Denver. The Holiday Inn is located just two blocks north or the Sheraton and is a 5 minute walk. For more detailed walking instructions to the Sheraton Downtown Denver see the Holiday Inn front desk staff upon arrival and they will be happy to help!
In-person attendees are responsible for booking their own overnight accommodations. Upon booking you will be asked for a credit card to simply hold the reservation. Upon check-in your 3 room night charges will be directed to the group master account. Upon completion of your room booking you will receive a confirmation email from the Sheraton Downtown Denver. Please refer to this email for booking cancellations and adjustment policies. If you are unable to attend and fail to cancel your room reservation within the policies stated in your confirmation, the credit card used at the time of booking will be charged. All room reservations, adjustments and cancellations should be done directly with the Sheraton Downtown Denver. For questions regarding room reservation please contact the Sheraton Downtown Denver at 303-893-3333 and reference the National Pesticide Applicators Certification and Training room block.
All attendees will receive three nights of complimentary lodging (Monday, July 19-Wednesday, July 21). Attendees with additional meeting responsibilities will also have their airfare and Thursday, July 22 lodging covered. These attendees will be notified individually. If you believe you fall into this category and have not heard from us by the time you’re ready to make travel arrangements, or travel costs would prevent you from attending, please reach out to Courtney Weatherbee at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Note: In order for airfare to be covered, it must be booked through Michigan State University’s system. Reimbursements are NOT available after the fact.
Respirator Fit Test
The respirator fit test training will take place on Wednesday, July 21st from 1:30 – 5:00 p.m. This training is available to anyone who is planning to attend in-person and will not be offered on the virtual platform. Each registrant of the training will receive a respirator fit test kit at the start of the training. In order to successfully complete the training, registration will be limited to 30 attendees.
This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement X8-83927401 to Michigan State University.
Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN) and the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) are sub awardees on the grant