UACES Facebook Cooperative Extension Service to host first produce safety grower training of 2024
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Cooperative Extension Service to host first produce safety grower training of 2024

By Rebekah Hall
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Feb. 14, 2024

Fast Facts:

  • Two-day remote training Feb. 28-29 via Zoom
  • Training to cover worker health and hygiene, postharvest handling, more
  • Register at by Feb. 21

(367 words)
(Newsrooms: With training flyer)

LITTLE ROCK — For produce growers, a critical element to success is understanding and mitigating the risk of microbial contamination on their farm. To help Arkansas producers navigate this, the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will host its first produce safety grower training of the year via Zoom on Feb. 28-29.

PRODUCE SAFETY — To help Arkansas fruit and vegetable growers reduce microbial contamination on their farms, the Cooperative Extension Service will host its first produce safety training of the year via Zoom on Feb 28-29. (Division of Agriculture flyer.) 

The training will cover soil amendments, wildlife, domesticated animals and land use, agricultural water and more. Participants can register at

Registration is $25 for Arkansas residents and $100 for out-of-state participants. The training will take place Feb. 28-29 from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. each day. Participants must attend both days of the training and will need internet access, Zoom video conferencing software and a web camera and microphone. Registration closes Feb. 21.

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 first training of 2024.

“Our team is happy to offer another remote produce safety grower training via Zoom for Arkansas produce growers and others,” Weaver said. “We will be providing information to help them understand how microbial contamination can create risk on their farm, how they can mitigate that risk and how to create a farm food safety plan to organize and prepare themselves.”

Weaver said he will also provide one-on-one technical assistance to any registrants in advance of the training to help them access the online workshop.

“We want this to be as smooth as possible for everyone who wants to attend,” Weaver said.

“This workshop can help growers at any scale better understand good agricultural practices for growing, harvesting, packing and holding fresh produce and help larger commercial producers prepare for state inspections,” said Amanda Philyaw Perez, extension associate professor of food systems and food safety specialist for the Division of Agriculture.

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 Weaver at or at 501-671-2388.

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