AMES, Iowa – A new program for farmers’ market growers and those interested in growing food products for direct or wholesale sales is being offered by the Farm Food Safety Team with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. This program is designed to provide on farm food safety training for every size fruit and vegetable producer and receives funding from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Services Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
The Food Safety on Farm program consists of three sequential workshops with a certificate of completion when a participant has successfully met the requirements of each level.
Level 1 – KNOW
Farmers who provide food direct to consumers through community–supported agriculture, called CSA, or farmers’ markets or who are considering retail foodservice sales will be trained in agriculture best practices and market considerations. Two online components will be available. This Good Agricultural Practice workshop is six hours and includes an educational packet of materials and working lunch.
Level 2 – SHOW
This workshop is for farmers or those 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. Those completing this workshop will have the “bones” of their farm’s written food safety plan in place to demonstrate GAPs, or in place to provide food safety assurances to buyers. The six-hour workshop includes an educational packet and working lunch.
Level 3 – READY
Farmers trained during this workshop will be GAP–audit ready and fully equipped to service large scale food distribution. A mock GAP audit will be conducted. The workshop is a full day and includes an on-farm mock inspection and technical assistance related to market plans.
For more information about the workshop series and upcoming events contact Angela Shaw, extension food safety specialist and food safety assistant professor, at email@example.com or 515-294-0868.