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Food Safety Workshops for Produce Growers
Missouri Ag Connection - 01/09/2020

Fruit and vegetable growers can meet training requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule at a Jan. 15 workshop in Farmington, Mo., or a March 19 workshop in Olathe, Kan.

Farms subject to the FSMA Produce Safety Rule must have at least one supervisor who has successfully completed specific training requirements, said Londa Nwadike, food safety specialist with University of Missouri Extension and Kansas State Research and Extension. FSMA includes standards related to water quality, use of manure and compost, and worker health and hygiene.

For details and registration:

- Jan. 15, Farmington, bit.ly/2MYcffM.

- March 19, Olathe, www.ksre.k-state.edu/foodsafety/produce.

Advance registration is required. Participants will receive a training certificate and PSA Training Manual. Registration is only $20 thanks in part to funding and support from the Missouri and Kansas agriculture departments. Lunch is provided. For questions, contact Nwadike at 816-482-5860 or Patrick Byers at 417-859-2044.

Free microbial water testing

MU Extension is offering free microbial water testing to Missouri produce growers through a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The tests, which meet water testing requirements for FSMA and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, are conducted by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). Sample bottles and forms are available from local public health departments, which can also arrange free overnight delivery of water samples to the DHSS lab. For more information, go to extension.missouri.edu/n/4256(opens in new window).

Cost-share available for GAP certification

Produce growers who have a USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit between Nov. 1, 2019, and Oct. 31, 2021, are eligible for cost-share assistance. Qualifying farm operations would receive up to half the cost of their USDA GAP audit, to a maximum payment of $800.

Funding is from a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant to MU Extension through the Missouri Department of Agriculture. For more information, contact Nwadike at NwadikeL@missouri.edu(opens in new window) or 816-482-5860. Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis until all available funding is used.

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