By MARY HOWELL
Kansas Farmers Union has been awarded a fourth FSMA food safety grant to offer produce safety education to specialty crop growers. We’re working with diverse grower populations to enhance their knowledge of food safety and on-farm good agricultural practices and educate them on FSMA Produce Safety Rule. This funding will provide information and resources to help fruit and vegetable growers, quarterly eNewsletters, website articles, social media posts and videos.
The original plan included on-farm tours, activities, workshops and conferences. As with all other areas of life, the staff is working hard to adapt programming to also include new COVID-19 guidelines. Cancelled tours are being videotaped and will become webinars with panels.
The 8-hour Produce Safety Training will be offered remotely in collaboration with KSRE Horticulture Specialists and PSA trained staff. The grant offers scholarship stipends to growers to cover the cost of the video class. Information to register is on our website.
The grant highlights three different types of growers and farms:
- urban, small scaled, beginning or socially disadvantaged growers;
- rural traditional farmers, small scale, beginning and direct marketers;
- and diversified, sustainable, organic, identity preserved agricultural operations, and direct, intermediate supply chain growers.
Safely grown produce is extremely important to the health needs of consumers. This learning opportunity offers growers every kind of information that will help them succeed. The programs help them to adopt practices within their farm and business operations to consciously grow and handle their many products with food safety as an important goal.
The FSMA staff has visited two of three farms and those tours have been videoed: Rommey Farms, Beaumont; and Simple Abundance Farm, South Hutchinson. A third farm in Northeast Kansas will also be visited by staff. All three videos will be produced and used along with panel discussions that will be held after the first of the year, 2021.
Many food safety resources are available on the KFU website as well as a link to the Kansas State University, Food Safety information. KFU shares information weekly on the website, Facebook, Twitter and the KFU mailing list. Please check out our website and join our social media arenas.
For more information please contact Mary Howell, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 785-562-8726.
About the Local Food Safety Collaborative
The goal of the Local Food Safety Collaborative (LFSC) is to provide outreach, education, and training to small local food producers and processors. We will particularly focus on organic, sustainable, value-added, and diversified farmers and processors. The Local Food Safety Collaborative will place particular emphasis on identifying and better understanding the unique needs of the sector in attaining compliance.
The Local Food Safety Collaborative is a collaboration between National Farmers Union Foundation and the Food and Drug Administration to provide training, education, and outreach to local producers and processors to enhance the fundamental knowledge of food safety, and to help these local producers and processors comply with applicable Food Safety Modernization Act regulations.
The Local Food Safety Collaborative is led by National Farmers Union Foundation in partnership with Cornell University, Maryland Department of Agriculture, National Young Farmers Coalition, The United Christian Community Association, and New England Farmers Union.