Spray Safe History

Spray Safe was developed in Kern County in 2006 by a group of Kern County farmers and PCAs. Spray Safe was designed to reduce spray drift, enhance worker safety, and protect public health through more effective communications among farmers about pending and ongoing pesticide applications. 

Of the of founding PCAs Jeff Rasmussen and the others dedicated time to solve a problem, “and since then we have stuck together and resolved the problem of spray drift. Proactive involvement can make a difference.” 

“It’s the ‘Three C’s’: collaborate, connect, and commit, that has been our focus point. It’s a matter of the industry stepping up and taking responsibility, and continuing to own and protect that space” said Rasmussen. 

The Spray Safe program was initiated in Kern County and because of its success, has been implemented in other counties throughout the state  The Kern Drift Prevention Coalition, which was formed in 2005, is a cooperative of local farmers, spray applicators and elected officials, who work together to promote spraying safety and education. Spray Safe is a program that encourages farmers to communicate with each other and to be vigilant to help reduce incidents of spray drift; Spray Safe is an additional measure to provide (annually) continuing education on new and improved practices, technologies and precautions to improve farm safety. 

“Spray Safe has most definitely been a factor in the improved safety record of Kern County agriculture. Since this program was implemented there has been more focus on safety and the result is a marked reduction in drift incidents,” said then Kern County Ag Commissioner Ruben Arroyo who noted that since 2006, when Spray Safe was first launched in Kern County, there has been a dramatic reduction in spray drift events. 

The Spray Safe program was initiated in Kern County and because of its success, has been implemented in other counties throughout the state. “Spray Safe is a program that encourages farmers to communicate with each other and to be vigilant to help reduce incidents of spray drift,” said Dale Nicol, Spray Safe Committee member, who noted the annual SpraySafe event is an additional measure to provide continuing education on new and improved practices, technologies and precautions to improve farm safety. 

“Kern County has shown that, through an industry initiative like Spray Safe, improvements can occur voluntarily therefore reducing the need for formal regulatory actions by DPR,” said Mary-Ann Warmerdam, former Director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. 

We hope that this site and statewide outreach will continue to carry and spread the proactive message of Spray Safe in 2021.