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Southern Regional Center for Food Safety Training, Outreach and Technical Assistance Continuation, and Lead Regional Coordination Center

Schneider, Keith
University of Florida
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The overall goal of this Regional Center proposal is to continue to build a collaborative infrastructure in the Southern US to support Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliant training, education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance as it relates to the produce industry. The proposed Southern Center includes participation from land-grant institutions in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. It will lead, manage and coordinate regional assistance programs targeted at owners and operators of small and medium-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, small food processors, and small fruit and vegetables merchant wholesalers affected by FSMA requirements. In addition to land-grant institutions, established partnerships with stakeholder groups including state and local regulators, community-based and non-governmental organizations will be leveraged to maximize training effectiveness and delivery opportunities. The goal will be accomplished through the following specific objectives:Develop a cadre of PSA and FSPCA certified trainers within the Southern US who are focused on supporting the produce industry.Develop and deliver region and stakeholder specific education, training curricula, and technical assistance programs.Evaluate the impact of Southern Center education, training and technical assistance programs.Programs will focus on helping audiences understand and interpret FSMA regulations and implement systems to meet requirements across the respective environments, agricultural production and processing systems in the Southern US to ensure co-management of food safety, conservation systems and ecological health.In addition, the University will serve as the lead institution for all four Regional Centers (Southern, North East, North Central and Western. It will manage the national priorities as well as facilitate communication and information sharing between the centers.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
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Chemical Contaminants
Bacterial Pathogens