March 9, 2015 - 8:32am -- Anonymous

Wayne County Extension is offering a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for Vegetable and Fruit Growers workshop, along with an Agricultural Water Quality and Testing workshop, both through The Ohio State University Fruit and Vegetable Safety Program.  Both of the workshops will be held on Monday, March 30 at Fisher Auditorium on the OARDC campus in Wooster at 1680 Madison Avenue.

The GAP workshop for vegetable and fruit growers will be held in the morning from 9:00 am until noon.  Good agricultural practices are a set of guidelines designed to help fruit and vegetable growers avoid microbial contamination through all phases of production including growing, harvesting, sorting, packing/packaging and storage.  Topics that will be covered in the training include:

  • Water Quality
  • Manure and Compost handling
  • Worker Training, Health and Hygiene
  • Domestic and Wild Animal Intrusions
  • Traceability

New this year in the GAP workshop is information on the Proposed Supplemental Rule in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, which is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register in October. The proposal includes revisions in what will be required for water quality and testing, manure and compost application, and wildlife intrusion.  The revisions are still in the proposal stage and are subject to further change, but participants will learn the newest information available at the time of the classes.

Participants will receive a three-ring binder with Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) templates and record-keeping templates, presentation handouts, and a certificate of participation.  Training will be provided by members of the OSU Extension Fruit and Vegetable Safety team and the OARDC Food Safety Program. 

The cost of the GAP workshop is $20 per participant and pre-registration is required by March 23.  A flyer with a registration form is available on-line at: http://go.osu.edu/WayneGAP .  Participants may also register by phone.  Contact Lindsey Hoover at 330-202-3555 extension 2918 or the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722.

The Agricultural Water Quality and Testing Workshops for fruit and vegetable growers will be held in the afternoon of March 30 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  There is no charge for this workshop.   During the workshop presenters will discuss the currently proposed water quality and testing standards in the FSMA's Supplemental Rule in greater detail, the science behind water samples and how to read test results, and will provide  a hands-on demonstration focused on proper water sample collection performed by a local laboratory representative.

Participants who attend the water workshops will receive one voucher for a 50% discounted water sample from Holmes Laboratory, and take-home materials to prepare for successful water sample collection.

For more information about the either the GAP or the Water Quality workshop, contact Lindsey Hoover at 330-202-3555 extension 2918 or the Wayne County Extension office at 330-264-8722.