UACES Facebook Cooperative Extension Service to host last produce safety training of 2023
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Cooperative Extension Service to host last produce safety training of 2023 

By Rebekah Hall
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Oct. 2, 2023

Fast Facts:

  • In-person training Oct. 26 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Training to cover soil amendments, worker hygiene, postharvest handling
  • Registration is $25 and closes Oct. 23
  • Register at

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(Newsrooms: with flyer)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — For commercial growers, keeping their farms free of microbial contamination and reducing foodborne illness is critical to success. To support these efforts, the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will host its last produce safety training of the year for fruit and vegetable producers on Oct. 26.

SAFE PRODUCE HANDLING — The Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, will offer an in-person safety training workshop for fruits and vegetable growers Oct. 26 in Fayetteville. Topics covered will include soil amendments, postharvest handling, sanitation and developing a farm food safety plan. (Division of Agriculture graphic.) 

The in-person training will provide key information on worker health, hygiene and training, developing a farm food safety plan and more. The training will take place in Fayetteville from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Pauline Whitaker Animal Science Center, 1335 W. Knapp Dr. Participants can register online at

Registration is $25 per person for Arkansas residents and $100 per person for out-of-state participants. The deadline to register is Oct. 23. Twenty seats are available.

Rip Weaver, extension program technician for food systems and food safety for the Division of Agriculture, said the Arkansas Produce Safety team is looking forward to the event.

“Our team is excited to offer one final PSA Produce Safety Grower Training for 2023 in Fayetteville this October,” Weaver said. “We've already seen interest and hope more produce growers in Northwest Arkansas and the surrounding region will join us in person for this one-day training on how to keep their farming operations safe by reducing microbial contamination risks. Foodborne illness from contaminated produce is a realistic concern, and we aim to provide Arkansas growers the knowledge to keep this risk under control.”

Amanda Philyaw Perez, extension associate professor of food systems and food safety specialist for the Division of Agriculture, said this training provides necessary preparation for growers looking to expand their businesses.

“Given the recent interest in growing the northwest Arkansas regional food system, it is important for this new group of produce growers to build a strong foundation for produce safety as they build their farming operations,” Philyaw Perez said. “This program, while targeted to the Food Safety Modernization Act, can help growers prepare for a USDA Good Agricultural Practice Audit to sell into new markets.”

Topics covered will include agricultural water — both production and postharvest — wildlife, domesticated animals, land use, soil amendments and more.

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, or FSMA, Produce Safety Rule. FSMA is the first federally regulated standard for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding fresh produce.

For more information, contact Weaver at or 501-671-2388.

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit 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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Media Contact:
Rebekah Hall