Missouri fruit and vegetable growers can enroll in an upcoming free or low-cost product safety online training course.
Topics for the webinar include creating a food safety plan for USDA Good Agricultural Practices Certification, Food Safety Modernization Law Training, Product Safety Best Practices, and wildlife control for fruit and vegetable growers, said Londa Nwadike, associate professor of food safety extension at the University of Missouri and Kansas State University.
In addition to webinars, MU Extension and the Missouri Department of Agriculture can provide a free review of on-farm readiness to produce growers, Nwadike said. MU Extension also continues to provide free microbial water testing to growers and currently has cost-shared funding for growers interested in GAP certification.
“We can also provide general technical assistance in product safety to producers,” she said.
- February 24 OR April 21, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Food Safety Plan.
- March 18 AND 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Produce Safety Alliance training under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
- March 24, 6 pm-7pm – Wildlife control for fruit and vegetable producers.
- May 10, 3 pm-5pm – Introduction to product safety and post-harvest handling.
A complete list of upcoming trainings is available on THIS LINK.
Nwadike said the workshops and other resources are available to produce growers with funding from a variety of sources, including the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Missouri Departments of Agriculture and of Kansas and the Food and Drug Administration.
“These efforts have helped hard-working fruit and vegetable growers understand the FSMA’s product safety rule and integrate these requirements into their production system to ensure that they are providing safe and wholesome food to consumers. “said Nwadike.
“I can’t say enough good things about FSMA training,” said Alicia Ellingsworth, Co-Founder and Executive Director of KC Farm School. Three of its staff attended a previous FSMA Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) training jointly organized by MU and the State of Kansas. “Our staff appreciated it so much,” Ellingsworth said. “Not a day goes by that a few people don’t say what they’ve learned or refer to the training for one reason or another.
For more information on product safety workshops in Kansas or Missouri, contact Nwadike at 913-307-7391 or [email protected], or Patrick Byers, horticultural specialist at MU Extension in [email protected].