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Farm food safety training set in March

By David Lott UNL Extension educator.

Farm food safety workshops will be offered by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension in North Platte from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 18 and 25, at the West Central Research and Extension Center, 402 W. State Farm Road.

This set of workshops is designed to help Nebraska produce growers meet new federal legislation regulations concerning produce production and safety handling.

President Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act into law in January. This law requires produce growers to evaluate potential food safety hazards on their own individual operations, and to create measures to prevent contamination of produce in the production, harvesting, and post harvesting stages.

UNL Extension educators will teach this two-day workshop, helping producers complete the Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) training process in response to the new federal regulations.

Topics that will be covered in this workshop will include worker sanitation, harvesting, handling, packaging, storage, and transportation standards of fresh produce from the farm operation to markets, schools, restaurants, and retail stores. At the end of the workshop, producers will have sections of their own farm food safety plans developed for their operation.

By completing a farm food safety plan, growers, including farmer’s market vendors, can differentiate themselves in the markets they sell in. Many consumers perceive this training as an added benefit, where consumers value where the food is grown, and in an environment where extra food safety production measures are consistently used.

All educational materials and resources for this workshop are provided through a Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the USDA Rural Development, received by the Nebraska Sustainable Ag Society in partnership with the University of Nebraska Rural Initiative.

While this workshop is available at no charge, we do request reservations by Friday, March 11, to ensure enough educational material, refreshments, and lunch will be available for all participants. To register, please contact the University of Nebraska Rural Initiative by sending an e-mail message to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or by calling the University of Nebraska Rural Initiative Office at (402) 472-2940. Please designate your reservation for the North Platte training location.

If you have any questions about the farm food safety training program, please contact Lott at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , by calling (308) 532-2683, or by contact your local University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Office.

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