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Expanding Food Safety Outreach and Education to Small and Mid-sized Farms in New York and Vermont

Fellenz, A. K.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Inc.
Start date
End date
GoalsThe Project Team's -NOFA-NY, NOFA-VT, Cornell University and UVM- long term goal is to provide fresh produce farms with farm food safety training as outlined by FSMA.Objectives1. Expand educational outreach to fresh produce farmers through dedicated and specific trainings on farm food safety as well as providing follow-up with growers to answer questions and overcome barriers to implementing safety practices on the farm. The target audience is wide including larger farms that fall under FSMA in NY and VT and need immediate training.2. Provide training and technical assistance to underserved small and mid-size farmers exempt from FSMA but who need to become immersed into FSMA practices to keep their products safe and open to new market opportunities. This includes: women farmers, organic farmers, veterans, and the Amish/Mennonite communities.3. Develop and deliver trainings for fresh produce buyers. While the big food industry players are already versed in food safety issues, many smaller regional distributors, independent retail food stores, food hubs, schools, and institutions are not. Providing educational programming for this audience will help them understand the issues and topics of farm food safety. They will be trained to understand what the farmer has to do to meet standards and/or regulations, what it costs, and what the buyers' responsibilities are once they receive the produce from the local farms.4. Identify synergies between the Organic Production Plan required for organic certification with the GAPS and VT CAPS (Community Accreditation for Produce Safety) tool to avoid redundancy and provide efficiencies for farmers. The Organic Production Plan covers practices such as manure management and compost, buffer requirements, water quality practices, and labeling. Determining compatibility between the Organic Production Plan and other plans that organic farmers including farm business plans and food safety plans will increase the efficiencies both for farmers and auditors.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
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Project number
Accession number
Education and Training
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Policy and Planning