Commercial produce production workshop slated for Jonesboro

by George Jared ([email protected]) 370 views 

For commercial produce growers, keeping produce free of microbial contamination and reducing foodborne illness is critical to the health and success of their business. To support these efforts, the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will offer a one-day, in-person produce safety training workshop for fruit and vegetable growers.

The all-day training session will take place on March 16 at the Craighead County Extension Office in Jonesboro.

Gaby Sanders, extension food safety program associate for the Division of Agriculture, said the training will provide information on worker health, hygiene and training, soil amendments, wildlife, domesticated animals and land use, agricultural water and postharvest handling and sanitation. The training will also help participants develop a farm food safety plan.

“With the increased need for fresh produce in our communities, it is more important now than ever that good agricultural practices are implemented at every stage of planting, growing and harvesting,” Sanders said.

Sanders said participant engagement and attendance will be monitored at the training. Participants are only eligible for a PSA/AFDO certificate of course completion if they are “present and engaged for all modules of the course.”

Amanda Philyaw Perez, extension associate professor of food systems and food safety specialist, said the training can “equip producers of all sizes, whether for direct to consumer or wholesale markets, with important information to ensure produce is grown safely to reduce the risks of foodborne illness and farm liability.”