Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Workshop

American author Aldo Leopold wrote in his book, “A Sand County Almanac” that one of the dangers in not owning a farm is “supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery.” But recent trends indicate more consumers are buying locally not only to support businesses but also to seek out the freshest and best tasting products. It is important for quality assurance that farmers to educate themselves on producing safe food for these buyers by attending the Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) state-wide workshop coming to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Warren County.
 
“We are happy that Warren County was chosen for this important training,” says Extension Council Chairperson Jason DeLay. “There are many growers in these counties who produce, especially for the large Des Moines Metro market.”
 
This learning series will feature two sessions offered as Level 1: KNOW and Level 2: SHOW, and is designed for farmers who sell directly to consumers through community-supported agriculture or farmer’s markets and also for those considering retail food service sales or wholesale.
 
Level 1 will give growers a set of recommendations to implement in their practices with the goal of improving the quality and safety of their produce. The focus will be on four primary components of production and processing: soil, water, personnel and surfaces.
 
Level 2 will educate Iowa food producers on the development of a written farm food safety plan. ISU Extension and Outreach faculty and specialists will instruct famers on how to market the added value of their products when selling to grocers, restaurants, hospitals and other institutions.
 
GAPs Level 1 will be offered on February 15 and Level 2 on February 22at the ISU Warren County Extension office located in Indianola. The fee is $25 per workshop or $45 for both workshops. For more information or to register for this state-wide event visit http://bit.ly/12sLsxEor contact Heather Snyder at hsnyder@iastate.eduor (515) 294-9020.

 

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