The Iowa State University Extension On-Farm Food Safety Team is seeking to offer a number of training opportunities for fruit and vegetable growers in the state of Iowa. Some of Iowa’s growers may be subject to the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, while other growers may want to learn more due to pressure from buyers. Produce safety is critical to every grower because they produce food that consumers will eat. The Iowa On-Farm Food Safety Extension Team members are certified trainers and are here to help you and your business with any questions you may have about the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.
We are seeking individuals/groups/extension offices to partner with for field days, webinars or in-person meetings on the FSMA Produce Rule from May through October 2017. Topics can include any of the following:
1. Agricultural Water for Vegetable and Fruit Production: water testing and frequency, pre-harvest water standards, and on-farm water management.
2. Soils Amendments: types of soil amendments and intervals of applications, soil microbial standards and types of tests required.
3. Workers’ Health and Hygiene: training requirements for farm workers, how to create and implement hygienic practices and policies on the farm.
4. Wildlife, Domesticated Animals and Land Use: how to monitor animal presence and segregate produce and equipment, crop protection from fecal contamination, guidance for working animals and how to assess land history and use.
5. Equipment, Tools, and Buildings: cleaning and sanitizing practices, pests and environmental controls and development of standard operation procedures to clean and sanitize equipment.
6. Record keeping: developing a farm food safety plan, what system to use for farm record keeping and how to establish a good foundation for farm record-keeping procedures.
The Iowa State University On-Farm Food Safety Team can help growers, on-farm food processors and food businesses in Iowa with any of the above topics. We can also customize any of them for specific grower groups: CSAs, farmers’ markets, specific commodity growers, etc. We have grant funding to help support these extension programs.
Furthermore, interested parties can find additional information and training opportunities on: Good Agricultural Practices Level 1 (GAPs), School Gardens Food Safety and University/Community Farms Food Safety at www.safeproduce.cals.iastate.edu. To schedule a training, please email IowaFSMA@iastate.edu or call 515-294-6773.