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Upcoming winter series of food safety trainings starts February 9th

Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator, food safety

Do you grow fresh produce for sale or donation? If so, join U of MN Extension and farmer presenters this winter for a series of virtual sessions to learn practical steps for keeping your produce, business and customers healthy. Many of the things we do to protect food safety on our farms have other benefits, like improved efficiency, organization, product quality and shelf life.

One Hour GAPs Deep-Dive Webinars

These one-hour interactive webinars will cover specific topic areas related to food safety on the farm and how to integrate food safety into your operation. You will have the opportunity to learn from experienced farmers and University of Minnesota Extension staff in each session.  Bring your questions! Sessions recorded but you must register to receive recording. All sessions are free. 

Register here for all Deep Dives:

Feb 9 9:00am - 10:00am: Lean & Clean: Applying Food Safety and Lean Farming Concepts to Fruit and Vegetable Farming.
Learn about Lean Farming principles as they relate to operating a small produce farm. Guest speaker Ellen Polishuk, a 35-year farming veteran and co-owner of Potomac Vegetable Farms in Northern Virginia has integrated Lean Farming techniques and improved her farm, employee morale and the safety of the produce.

Feb 16 9:00 am - 10:00 am: Packshed design for improved product postharvest quality and safety. 
Packshed layout, equipment selection and postharvest handling are important for product quality and food safety. Guest speaker Katie Bishop, co-owner of PrairiErth Farm in central Illinois will share about how she has designed an efficient and safe packshed for their large vegetable operation.

Feb 23 9:00 - 10:-00 am: Recordkeeping on farm for food safety and profitability. 
Hear about new recordkeeping apps, tools and tricks to take the stress out of records on your farm.  Guest speaker Jack Pahl of Pahl’s Market, Apple Valley, Minnesota will talk about records on their large produce and greenhouse operation for passing a GAP audit, profit tracking and more.

March 2 9:00 - 10:00 am: Managing Produce Safety Risks of Rotating Livestock through Produce Fields/Orchards. 
If you apply manure to your fresh fruit & vegetable fields or rotate livestock in the fields or orchards, it is important to take steps to reduce risk, so the manure doesn't become a source of contamination of your fresh produce. Guest speaker Jeff Bender DVM, will discuss current research and best practices to both build soil health and fertility through livestock while protecting public health.

FSMA Produce Safety Rule trainings from University of Minnesota Extension and MDA Produce Safety Program

This training course is for produce growers and those interested in learning about produce safety, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. If your farm is not excluded or exempt from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, at least one supervisor or responsible party from your farm must complete a training that uses FDA-recognized curriculum or equivalent. This course will satisfy this requirement, though all produce farms are welcome and encouraged to take this course. 

Trainers include experienced produce farmers and MDA and UMN staff. Cost: $25. 

For more information and to register for FSMA Produce Safety Rule grower trainings:

Feb 12 and 19, 2022: (SPANISH/ espaƱol): Online: 9:00am – 1:30pm

Feb 22, 2022: Online: 8:45am - 5:00pm

Mar 16 and 17, 2022: Online: 8:45am - 1:00pm

Apr 8, 2022: In-person, Maple Grove Community Center: 8:45am - 5:00pm (lunch included)

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