Sunday October 1st, 2023 8:00AM

Habersham County to host produce grower workshop

By Christian Ashliman Anchor/Reporter

Habersham County Extension Services in May will host a workshop focusing on farm food safety for small fruit and vegetable growers.

The workshop is slated for May 15 and will target small-scale produce growers who do not need official Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) training in order to satisfy the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule (FSMA).

Extension personnel plan to showcase food safety concepts and recordkeeping, all of which will be in line with current PSA training. Those in attendance will experience mixing sanitizer, cleaning and sanitizing produce bins and testing water supply, according to a release from Habersham County officials.

The workshop will also provide an opportunity for smaller produce growers to learn about industry requirements should they ever want to sell their goods on a bigger scale, to places like grocery stores and restaurants where their gross income might exceed $25,000.

Additionally, the event will allow for networking opportunities between produce growers in the Northeast Georgia area.

The Produce Safety Alliance is a collaboration program between Cornell University, the FDA and the USDA that teaches produce growers how to meet regulatory standards using science-based safety measures. Much of what is taught through PSA is used to bolster a grower's ability to meet FSMA regulations.

The FSMA is a safety rule established in early 2016 that set standards for the safe growing, harvesting and packing of various forms of produce. FSMA rules require the testing of water quality, soil and compost makeup, sprout care, animal health and worker training and health.

The extension workshop will take place at the Habersham County Extension Office in Clarkesville from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on May 15 and will include lunch and refreshments. Registration is $25 and county officials ask for those interested to register by May 10.

Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent and County Extension Coordinator Steven Patrick is available for outstanding questions and can be reached at [email protected] or via phone at (706) 754-2318.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: Habersham County, farmers market, event, Produce, Habersham County Extension Services
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