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University of Minnesota Extension

Upcoming Good Agricultural Practices Training 

Upcoming Good Agricultural Practices Training 

By Katie Drewitz, University of Minnesota Extension 

PRESTON and CALEDONIA, Minn. (12/06/2022) — The University of Minnesota Extension, Minnesota Farmers Union and Renewing the Countryside are teaming up to offer both in - person and online courses to help you stay up to date on important topics to protect your farm and your customers and improve the safety and quality of your fresh produce. Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) are science-based, farm-level practices for keeping fresh produce safe through on farm practices. All farms are welcome to attend and learn more about GAPs and practices to improve the safety of your fresh produce.

“Food safety is becoming increasingly important for all produce farms,” says Annalisa Hultberg, Extension Educator in food safety at the University of Minnesota. “Protecting your customers and your farm through the use of Good Agricultural Practices is an important part of growing and selling healthful produce into the local food system, especially when selling to vulnerable populations like youth or the elderly.”

This fall and winter there are many schools and other buyers seeking local foods with funds from greatly expanded Farm to School grants from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Attending a food safety training and showing a food safety plan will help fruit and vegetable farmers enter these markets.

New this year, all in-person trainings will include a bonus farmer/buyer networking event after the GAPs training to connect local farmers and buyers, hosted by Renewing the Countryside. The farmer/buyer networking will be a facilitated connection time to meet prospective buyers and talk about potential connections for sales to these markets. 

These trainings cost $15 per farm and include a certificate of attendance, lunch (in person) and a small gift bag of various cleaning supplies for all participants. Scholarships are available to cover the cost of this course. (Please email jenri001@umn.edu for scholarship info). One participant at each training will win a set of handwashing stand supplies! Classes will close at capacity so you will want to register early. Registration and more information are available at: https://z.umn.edu/GAPtraining.

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