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Oct. 13, 2020
By Ryan McGeeneyU of A System Division of Agriculture
(348 words)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
LITTLE ROCK — The Cooperative Extension Service’s Local, Regional and Safe Foods Team
will be hosting two no-cost webinars as part of a Lunchtime Learning Series in October
to assist a growing number of small food businesses.
As consumers increasingly seek locally sourced foods, U.S. local food sales, including
cottage-food sales, have grown from $5 billion in 2008 to a projected $20 billion
in 2019, according to former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The first of the webinars, scheduled for this Friday, Oct. 16, will focus on starting
a small food business in Arkansas, specifically those businesses centered on “cottage
food.” The session will be co-hosted with Bryan Mader, assistant professor of nutrition
for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, and will feature Jeff
Jackson, environmental supervisor for the Arkansas Department of Health.
The Oct. 16 webinar is primarily intended for small scale, home-based food businesses,
farmers’ market managers and county extension agents.
The second webinar is scheduled for the following Friday, Oct. 23, and will focus
on food safety documentation and COVID-19 preparedness for small food manufacturers,
featuring Cornell University’s Abby Snyder, an assistant professor with Cornell’s
food science department. This session is intended for small scale commercial food
businesses, shared-use kitchen managers and food protection regulators.
Both webinars are scheduled to stream live from noon-1 p.m., CDT. There is no cost
Angela Gardner, program associate with the Local, Regional and Safe Foods Team, said
the webinar series is designed to support Arkansans who want to launch a food business
within the state.
“Our team understands that a vibrant community food system relies on a foundation
of diverse and informed food businesses,” Gardner said. “Local, state and federal
regulations on food production can be daunting and complex. These webinars are an
opportunity to unpack these regulations by learning and connecting with food safety
scientists and regulatory professionals.”
Anyone interested in the subject but unable to join the webinars during their initial
streaming can find additional resources and ongoing support for farm and food businesses
To learn more about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative
Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media contact:Ryan McGeeneyCommunications ServicesUniversity of Arkansas System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com