Farm food safety workshops offered
Fruit and vegetable growers, both large and small, are becoming increasingly aware of the food safety issues related to field-grown produce, and the importance of food safety to consumers. In January 2011, President Barack Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act into law.
This Act enhances the traceability of fresh produce grown in the United States, as well as create greater responsibility for food safety to producers. The bill requires producers to evaluate hazards to their products, take steps to prevent contamination and to develop written food safety plans. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension is helping producers meet the requirements of the new legislation.
The planned workshops will help fresh produce growers or farmer's market managers complete the Good Agricultural Practices training. These workshops will be taught in January and February at five locations across the state by UNL Extension educators, with support from the University of Nebraska Rural Futures Institute. At the end of the workshop, participants will have a better understanding of GAPs, and how they can complete their own farm food safety plans.
The topics that will be covered will help producers enhance worker sanitation, harvesting, handling, packaging, storage and transportation standards of fresh produce from the farm operation to markets, schools, restaurants, and retail stores. By completing a Farm Food Safety Plan, producers can differentiate themselves in the marketplace and appeal to many customers who perceive this training as an added benefit.
The one-day workshops will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The fee for this program is $65 per operation. This fee covers educational materials, lunch and breaks. Extra participants per operation will be charged $10 each for additional breaks and meals. Please register one week prior to the desired workshop location date. A $5 late fee will be charged after the registration date has expired for each of the workshop locations.
Reservations are required to participate in the training workshops. Please register for all training locations by calling the UNL Extension Office in Hall County by calling 308-385-5088. Please specify the workshop date and location that you plan to attend.
Make all check payments out to the "University of Nebraska-Lincoln" when submitting the registration. Mail all cash and check registration to: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension - Hall County, 3180 W. Highway 34, Grand Island, NE 68801-7279.
Training dates, locations, and reservation deadlines:
Jan. 15--South Platte Natural Resource District, 551 Parkland Drive, Sidney. RSVP by Jan. 8.
Jan. 17--UNL-Lancaster County Extension Office, 444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A, Lincoln. RSVP by Jan. 10.
Jan. 18--UNL-Valley County Extension Office, 801 "S" Street, Suite 1 - Fairgrounds, Ord. RSVP by Jan. 11.
Jan. 24--UNL-Adams County Extension Office, 300 N. St. Joseph Avenue, Hastings. RSVP by Jan. 17.
Feb. 20--Meadowlark Room, Student Center, Wayne State College, East 14th Street, Wayne. RSVP by Feb. 13.
Feb. 20--UNL-Gage County Extension Office, 1115 West Scott, Beatrice. RSVP by Feb. 13.