PSA GT curriculum was created through a four-year nationwide development process. In 2011, after hosting an international gathering to review current educational resources, the PSA launched ten, open Working Committees (WCs), composed of one hundred seventy-eight unique members from academia, agriculture, industry, and regulatory agencies. The WCs identified key areas and learning objectives to be addressed in the grower curriculum. Additionally, grower preferences regarding produce safety training programs were collected by hosting eight in-person farmer focus groups nationwide, collecting feedback from eighty-nine produce growers. In 2015 and 2016, the PSA also engaged with the FDA Division of Produce Safety staff to align the curriculum content with the final FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements and incorporate the regulatory language throughout the curriculum modules and teaching notes. The seven module PSA Grower Training Course was designed to be usually delivered in one day.
Who Should Attend Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety. The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’
What to Expect at the PSA Grower Training Course The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering content contained in these seven modules:
- Introduction to Produce Safety
- Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
- Soil Amendments
- Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
- Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water)
- Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
- How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan
In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.
Benefits of Attending the Course The course will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management information, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of:
- Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm
- How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm
- Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one
- Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them.
After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course. Visit this website for the latest Train the Trainer Information: https://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/training/train-trainer-course/.
Costs to Attend Total costs to attend the PSA Grower Training Course is $25. This price is subsidized.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this training is being offered temporarily via remote delivery. In order to participate, individuals must have video and audio capability, and will be required to have both operating during the entire training. Companies registering multiple participants, please be aware that each participant must be at their own desktop or laptop
It is a Produce Safety Alliance requirement that participants are monitored in order to verify participants’ attendance and engagement. Participants will only be eligible for the PSA/AFDO Certificate of Course Completion if they are present for all modules of the course. The training will take place via Zoom, which does not require special software. Please make sure that your system meets the requirements for Zoom meetings. All participants will need to have access to a laptop or desktop with the following:
- An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
- Speakers and a microphone – built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth
- A webcam or HD webcam – built-in or USB plug-in
- For security purposes, you must have a Zoom account. Please create a login.
- This virtual meeting experience will be more enjoyable on a laptop or desktop. It is more challenging on a mobile phone.
*** IMPORTANT NOTES FOR REGISTRATION ***
Produce Safety Rule Grower Training Manual v1.2 will be mailed to registrants prior to the training – please be sure that the shipping address you provide at the time of registration is current (especially if working from home or remotely) and capable of receiving packages.No PO Boxes, only street addresses.
Please use an email address that the participant can be reached at, as evaluations and a Zoom link for the training will be sent in a confirmation email prior to the training date. Manuals will be shipped to all paid participants. Registration will close 5 business days before the start date of the meeting allowing for enough time for shipping the manual.
Virtual PSA Grower Training is limited to 25 attendees per session. This allows for better attendee engagement.
Due to COVID-19, training is now divided into two, four hour days.
Shipping Manuals for Remote Attendees Produce Safety Rule Grower Training Manual v1.2 will be mailed to registrants prior to the training – please be sure that the shipping address you provide at the time of registration is current (especially if working from home or remotely) and capable of receiving packages. No PO Boxes, only street addresses.
In-person attendees will be given the manual onsite.
Certificate for Remote Attendees Participants will only be eligible for the PSA/AFDO Certificate of Course Completion if they are present for all modules of the course. Video must be turned on the entire time and instructors must be able to see the attendee.
In-person attendees must attend the PSA GT all day from 8 am to 5 pm.