The PSA Grower Training 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. Due to COVID-19, training is now divided into two four hour days.
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 $125.
Additional Information For questions related to registering for the course, please contact: Cathy Blood, Events Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org, 509-335-2845 For any other questions, please contact: Dr. Stephanie Smith, Consumer Food Safety Extension Specialist and course instructor email@example.com, 509-335-0972