Cooperative Extension Service to offer two-day remote produce safety training
Sept. 29, 2022
By Rebekah Hall
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- Two-day remote training offered for fruit and vegetable growers
- Training will cover regulatory requirements, worker hygiene, best practices
- Registration closes Oct. 5
- Register online at bit.ly/produce-safety
LITTLE ROCK — For commercial produce growers, keeping farms free of microbial contamination and reducing foodborne illness outbreaks is critical. To support these efforts, the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will offer a two-day, remote produce safety training workshop for vegetable and fruit growers. The training will provide important information on best practices, regulatory requirements and risk management.
The training will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 11, and Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day. Participants can register online using this Division of Agriculture form.
Registration is $20 per person for Arkansas residents and $100 per person for out-of-state residents and must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 5 to allow time for training materials to arrive in the mail. Space is limited to 20 participants.
Gaby Sanders, extension program associate for local, regional, and safe foods for the Division of Agriculture, said the Arkansas Produce Safety Team is excited to offer the last training of 2022 remotely.
“This time of year is extremely busy for most of our growers, regardless of their farm’s size, so we are thrilled to have the option to provide this training remotely,” Sanders said. “We hope that this will be a more accessible option for everyone who is interested in attending but does not have the time or resources to travel for it.”
Sanders said participant attendance and engagement will be monitored at the training. Participants are only eligible for a PSA/AFDO certificate of course competition if they are “present and engaged for all modules of the course.”
Topics covered will include worker health, hygiene and training, soil amendments, postharvest handling and sanitation and developing a farm food safety plan.
Sanders said the Arkansas Produce Safety Team hopes to offer this training in-person in 2023.
“We hope to see produce growers of every scale at future training,” she said. “Seeing the interactions between seasoned growers and those just starting out is a big motivator to move back to in-person trainings. The knowledge passed along during break times is just as valuable as the topics we are presenting.”
The training, developed by the Produce Safety Alliance and presented by the Cooperative Extension Service’s Arkansas Produce Safety Team, teaches growers about regulatory requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. FSMA is the first federally regulated standard for growing, harvesting, packing and holding fresh produce.
For more information, contact Sanders at email@example.com or at 501-671-2046. If growers have been trained and are currently implementing produce safety practices but need additional technical assistance, please reach out to Amanda Philyaw Perez, extension produce safety specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uada.edu. Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit https://uada.edu/. Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.
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.
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