Host Sites Sought for 2014 Good Agricultural Practices Workshops

AMES, Iowa — Communities, local food networks and county extension offices have the opportunity to schedule Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Good Agricultural Practices workshops for local growers. ISU Extension and Outreach, through a grant funded by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Services Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, will conduct GAP workshops for fruit and vegetable producers during spring 2014.

Key workshop instructors from Iowa State will be Angela Shaw, assistant professor in food safety and extension specialist; Catherine Strohbehn, extension specialist and professor in hotel, restaurant and institution management; and Linda Naeve, extension value added agriculture specialist.

GAP workshop descriptions

The course is offered as a two-part workshop, covering Level1 (KNOW) and Level 2 (SHOW) GAP training. During the six-hour Level 1 session, farmers who provide food directly to consumers through community-supported agriculture, referred to as CSA, or farmers’ markets or are considering retail foodservice sales will be trained in good agriculture practices and market considerations. The session includes an educational packet of materials and working lunch.

The Level 2 session provides assistance in writing the “bones” of a farm food safety plan that demonstrates GAPs are in place and provides food safety assurances to buyers. Farmers considering sales to retail foodservices, such as grocers, restaurants, hospitals and other institutions, and those interested in adding value to fresh produce and selling products in a convenience form should attend this workshop. The workshop is six hours and includes an educational packet and working lunch.

The instructor team is seeking individuals, groups or extension offices to host the two-part series. They recommend having 20 farmer producers per workshop and suggest an individual workshop fee of $25 or $45 with farm discounts if attending both sessions. The team will assist with advertisement, registration and coordinate registration and speakers. Local hosts will assist with location, meal options and contacts with potential participants and speakers. They have the following dates reserved for trainings.

Potential Dates for
Level 1
Potentials Dates for
Level 2
 Thursday, Jan. 30  Thursday, Feb. 6  
 Saturday, Feb. 1  Saturday, Feb. 8  
 Tuesday, Feb. 4  Thursday, Feb. 27  
 Thursday, Feb. 13  Saturday, Feb. 22  
 Saturday, Feb. 15  Tuesday, Feb. 25  
 Tuesday, Feb. 18  

For more information or to reserve dates, contact Heather Snyder at 515-294-9020 or email at If several locations want the same Level 1 date, there is the possibility of offering it as a webinar.