University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and the Georgia Department of Agriculture will host a free one-day workshop for produce farmers on Thursday, March 14, at Little Ocmulgee State Park in Helena, Georgia.
The training is required for producers who grow, pack, harvest or hold covered produce, make more than $500,000 in annual produce sales and do not qualify for a Produce Safety Rule exemption. Other produce farmers are strongly encouraged to attend.
“We encourage growers to come out and take advantage of the training and resources that will be offered,” said Colby Royal, Telfair County Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent.
The workshop will educate growers about the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act. Producers will also learn about microorganisms that are relevant to produce safety and where they could be found on the farm.
Attendees will learn to identify microbial risks and be prepared to implement produce safety practices on their farm. They will also learn the elements of a farm-food safety plan and how to begin writing one.
“Our large produce farmers are already implementing most of these practices, but this training will help both large and small fruit and vegetable farmers,” said Brooke Hampton, Wheeler County Extension Coordinator. “Even the small gardener selling to the local farmers market could benefit. This certification will protect farmers and consumers alike. We are excited to work with the Georgia Department of Agriculture to provide this training.”
Program cost is $20, which includes lunch. Little Ocmulgee State Park is located at 80 Live Oak Trail, Helena, Georgia 31037.
Registration deadline is Monday, March 11. To register for the event, please visit http://bit.ly/McRaePSAGrowerTraining.