Thanks so much for reaching out regarding your frustrations on the pesticide license delays.
Many of you are experiencing delays at getting permission from VDACS to take pesticide exams. Including mail time, delays of three to five weeks are not uncommon.
Leaders at VDACS understand the seriousness of these delays to our industry at any time of year but especially during these critical spring months.
Actions we took last year
Last summer several of us met with government leaders about the delays. A major outcome of that meeting was an increased push to place the process online. The online system was scheduled to be activated November or December 2021.
Actions we took these past weeks and months
Because of delays at implementing the online system, the severe backlog continues.
We sent emails, letters, and contacted key persons (thanks so much for those of you who sent me your experiences!).
Matt Lohr, Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, sent us an email that included the following sentences (I emphasized the key point): “We will alleviate the current batch of about 800 applications (about 10 days’ worth) that are backlogged with a work-around. All those applicants will be sent a letter allowing them to go ahead and take the test.”
Future Relief will take three forms:
(1) We worked with the Virginia Agribusiness Council, VDACS, and others to authorize two new positions at VDACS. These positions, which will become available July 1, will work on paperwork;
(2) The online system should soon be up and running; and
(3) Several of us will meet with Secretary Lohr in the coming months.