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Leveraging Partnerships Among North Carolina Extension Programs to Build Food Safety Educational Capacity and Expand Industry Accessibility to Resources


The overall goal of this collaborative education and training project is to develop and deliver a comprehensive, relevant, and engaging hybrid education and training program that is highly accessible among NC Cooperative Extension agents and small food processors/entrepreneurs to enhance knowledgetowards increasing thelikelihood of food safety regulatory compliance. This goal will be accomplished through the following objectives:1. Deliver webinar series featuring key food safety regulatory programs. This series is intended to help engage and connect both extension programs and the NC small food processing industry with their respective regulatory agencies.2. Develop and deliver in-person workshops. This objective seeks to build capacity among county extension agents and engage food industry participants through in-person, follow-up workshops for instruction and hands-on demonstrations that are relevant to food entrepreneurs and small processors. Through collaboration with NC Cooperative Extension and county agents, this proposal seeks to connect with rural counties and hard-to-reach areas of the state. The in-person workshops will be delivered in collaboration with county and state officials. The workshop materials will also include the use of a guide, or workbook, that participants can apply specific scenarios to each learning objective.3. Develop a repository of information for the industry and provide resources to programs beyond North Carolina. This objective seeks to provide an "all-in-one" site providing valuable food safety educational resources and factsheets for extension agents, food processing documents and templates, key North Carolina regulatory contacts and updates, and scheduled food safety training throughout the state which supports both on-farm and value-added production.4. Develop evaluation tools to assess short- and medium-term learning and impact throughout the sequential approach to learning. These tools will be developed to assess the progression of the project in meeting its short-, and medium-term outcomes.

Johnston, Lynette
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