On-Farm Food Safety Workshops Offered this Summer
Fresh-produce farmers will be able to see and experience practical on-farm solutions to develop their food safety plans this summer. The first training will take place at County Rail Farm in Dixon, Montana, on Wednesday, June 29, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
County Rail Farm has implemented a food safety plan and is one of 10 operations in the state to pass a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit. County Rail Farm sells to multiple direct and wholesale markets. County Rail Farm owners Margaret Debona and Tracy Potter-Fins will share their experience developing their food safety plan with other farmers interested in implementing food safety plans for their farms.
The farm-based workshops are designed for fresh-produce growers who want to enter into wholesale markets that may require a food safety plan or GAP audit. It will also be useful for growers who are exempt from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Rule but want to implement a food safety plan on their farm or just learn about food safety on their farm. The workshop will be useful to all fresh-produce growers, buyers of fresh produce, and educators working with growers of fresh produce.
“The purpose of the workshop is to help growers of vegetables, fruit, or nuts see practical solutions to implementing a food safety plan and to make it less daunting,” said Tammy Howard, NCAT’s On-Farm Food Safety Project Leader project leader.
The workshops will be co-led by Howard, Margaret Debona of the County Rail Farm, and GAP Auditor Jonda Crosby.
Participants will leave the workshop with:
· An understanding of the key components of food safety plans and tangible, farm-based best practices
· An understanding of the GAP audit process through a mock audit
· An opportunity to talk to regional food safety experts
· Farm food safety plan organizational tips, record keeping, and best practices
· An understanding of how to talk to buyers about their food safety plans
· An introduction to the Group GAP concept
There is a $20 charge, which includes materials and lunch for all class participants. To register, go to the online registration page at https://www.ncat.org/events/ or contact Tammy Howard at 406-494-8683 or email@example.com. Space is limited to 25 participants, so registration is required.
Funding for this project was provided by the Washington State University Western Extension Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).