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Upcoming Food Safety Trainings Around the State for Fruit and Vegetable Farmers

Fall and winter is the time to think about your farm system, including your practices to reduce potential unintentional contamination of your fresh produce. This fall and winter the University of Minnesota Extension is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and other partners to host 14 FSMA Produce Safety Rule trainings around the state for produce farmers.

The Produce Safety Rule, which is a part of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), is new federal food safety regulation that applies to the entire food system, including some produce growers. As a part of this new Rule, fruit and vegetable farms that grow, pack, harvest and/or hold produce and that do not qualify for an exemption or exclusion need to attend this training that uses the FDA-approved curriculum. (To learn more about if your farm is covered by the rule view the FDA's Coverage and Exemptions/Exclusions Chart or see this factsheet by UMN). Farms selling less than $25,000 in produce on an annual basis, adjusted for inflation, are excluded from this Rule.

However, all growers interested in learning about produce safety, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and the FSMA Produce Safety Rule are encouraged to attend and will find the course material valuable and beneficial. Learning about and implementing good agricultural practices protects your farm and business, can help you get a GAP audit if needed, and keeps our local foods safe and healthful for all.

These dynamic courses will be co-led by trained fruit and vegetable farmers and staff from UMN Extension and Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Date and Locations (details and addresses at registration page): 
November 9, 2018 Bemidji
November 14, 2018 Windom
November 28, 2018 Morris
December 5, 2018 Hutchinson
December 12, 2018 Brooklyn Park
December 17, 2018 St. Paul
January 9, 2019 St. Cloud (Day before MN Organic conference)
January 16, 2019 St. Cloud (Day before MFVGA/MFMA conference)
January 23, 2019 Mankato
January 25, 2019 Cloquet
February 6, 2019 St. Charles
February 20, 2019 Andover
March 13, 2019 Moorhead
March 20, 2019 Farmington

Register: Registration deadline is 10 days before each class, or until full. Register early - last year 4 of 5 courses were sold out with wait lists.
Cost: $25 (This cost is subsidized and will likely rise in the coming years). Registration includes training materials, lunch, refreshments, and a certificate of attendance, issued by the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO). Certificate of attendance is good for life.
Schedule: Check-in 8:30. Training 9:00 - 5:00.
Class Size: Limited to 40 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. No walk-ins accepted.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Produce Safety Program  or call (651) 539-3648 or email

UMN Extension On-Farm GAPs Education Program for more information on Good Agricultural Practices and the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.

FDA FSMA Produce Safety Rule
Produce Safety Alliance 

For more information -see

These events sponsored and planned in partnership with:
  • Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  • Minnesota Farmers Union
  • Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association
  • Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association 
  • Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture 
  • Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota

By Annalisa Hultberg, Regional Extension Educator, Food Safety
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