On a Tuesday afternoon, we had just finished our duties working outside. We had been at the same property, Beaver Creek IZ. Richard Nelson gathered his team and brought them in to the conference room. We had not been told prior to this little meeting what we were actually doing. As he put on his glasses, he started passing around papers. He then explained that we were about to have a pesticide class. He wanted all of us to be knowledgeable workers about the chemicals, preparations, and cautions that are absolutely vital when dealing with different products.
He asked us to take notes and take what he was teaching us very seriously. In previous years, we did not have the opportunity to learn about pesticides, so it was fun to learn something new!
The correct measurements are very important when mixing the chemicals. You have to wear the right equipment such as, goggles, a mask, and gloves. Richard took us to the supply shed after he talked through everything. This was a great example of "hands-on learning" or better put by Cal Poly, "Learn by Doing". After looking at the chemicals, Richard then walked us over to the creek where the weeds are that he was teaching us about. He pointed out what they looked like, and then asked us to distinguish them. It was difficult at first, but then we got a hang of it after awhile practicing!
After the evening workshop, the team was then all capable of taking turns spraying weeds. On a typical work day, when the team would go to Beaver Creek, usually two team members would stay back to spray weeds all day. So the remainder of the trip, we switched off walking along the creek. We were mainly focused on spraying hemlock, a poisonous plant that would harm the grazing cattle. We had our five gallon spraying equipment, and took our time walking along spraying. It was a tedious job, but a very important job nonetheless! If we skipped just one hemlock plant along the way, that could kill a cow later down the road and the ranch could lose profit. Pressure! But as long as we took our time, paid attention to detail and worked hard, we did not have to worry.
Five gallon sprayers ready to go after a team member and I finished the preparations.
Ready to go spray along the creek!