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Writing a Practical Produce Safety Plan: A Workshop for Small and Diversified Growers

http://www.uvm.edu/~susagctr/?Page=news.html

Writing a Practical Produce Safety Plan: A Workshop for Small and Diversified Produce Growers  

UVM Extension’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture, with support from the USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant and Risk Management Agency programs will offer five full day workshops on practical food safety for small and diversified farms who market directly and locally.

Farmers will start drafting their plan from a template before the workshop even begins, then once on site will:

 · track (with the group) specific examples of how contamination of fresh produce can occur on Vermont farms,

  • learn from experienced PPS graduates about their set-ups and best practices to reduce risk,
  • learn the science behind the risks and best practices
  • have time to keep drafting their plan, get feedback, and enjoy refreshments

By the end of this workshop, attendees will have finished an on-farm produce safety plan with specific action-steps needed to implement it on their farms.

This plan clarifies the specific meaning of produce safety on individual farms.  It can be used to train employees or can be shared with interested retail customers, local, and wholesale buyers. The workshop is appropriate for both organic and conventional growers, and is fully compatible with the VVBGA Produce Safety Accreditation currently being developed.

Workshops will take place:

  • St. Johnsbury: Wednesday, February 18:  8:45-3:30; Extension Office, Farmer: Mary Skovsted, Joe’s Brook Farm
  • White River Junction: Thursday, February 19:  8:45-3:30; Yankee Farm Credit, Farmer: Pooh Sprague, Edgewater Farm
  • Swanton (co-sponsored by Healthy Roots):  Friday, February 20: 8:45-3:30; Workforce Investment Board Training Center, Farmer: S’ra DeSantis, Diggers’ Mirth Farm
  • Poultney (Co-sponsored by Green Mountain College): Monday, February 23:  8:45-3:30; Green Mountain College, Farmer, Carol Tashie, Radical Roots Farm
  • Middlebury: Tuesday, February 24: 8:45-3:30; Extension Office, Farmer: Jeremy Gildrien, Gildrien Farm

Interested growers can register on-line at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/uvm-center-for-sustainable-agriculture-1519520706, or by phone by calling Cheryl Herrick at 802-656-5459.  The cost is $18 for the first registrant, and $10 for each additional person from the same farm.  Participants will receive morning coffee, a light lunch, a template for a farm produce safety plan and a binder of reference material.

Established in 1994, the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture is a proud part of UVM Extension and provides timely information to Vermont communities and the UVM campus through research, outreach and education in its Pasture, Land Access, Produce Safety, Local Food and Youth Agricultural IDA programs.   The Center cultivates partnerships, supports innovative research and practices, and informs policy to advance sustainable food and farming systems.