PLANTING THE SEEDS: TEACHING THE VALUE OF FOOD SAFETY TO NEW AND BEGINNING FARMERS

Project Details

Description

The Rutgers On-Farm Food Safety Team is a regional leader in conducting food safety outreach to produce growers and has a history of providing one-on-one outreach to new and beginning farmers when requested. The team recognizes the need for the development of a beginning farmer specific outreach program, which requires training programs and resources geared to this audience.The inclusion of small farms and beginning farmers to its outreach focus will allow the team to discuss risk prevention practices with new and beginning growers. Incorporating food safety risk reduction values into a beginning farms business plan is important. Most farms are at the mercy of market demands. Small and beginning farms in New Jersey take advantage of the diverse marketing opportunities for their produce. Wholesale terminal markets are nearby, but not typically used by small and beginning farms. Instead, these farms tend to sell at farmers markets, roadside stands, community supported agriculture models, and local auction associations. With increased consumer awareness of produce recalls due to human pathogen risks even the smallest of farms needs to be able to discuss the food safety culture of their farm with their customers. A farm that has an informed food safety culture will be better able to meet their current market demands, pivot their markets when needed, communicate the quality of their product with their customers, and make plans for the growth of their operation.Through this project we will conduct both online and in-person educational programming in which360participants will:1. Complete a one-day beginning farmer focused food safety risk reduction program.2. Attend a one-day hands-on food safety plan writing workshop with 1 month and 3 month follow ups to answer questions and check in on progress.3. Participate in Food Safety 1-hourhot topic webinars.4. Learn best practices for training employees.5. Have a one-on-one on-farm produce safety risk walkthrough with follow-up technical assistance as needed.?These efforts willencourage the development of a farm food safety culture early on, enabling them to grow smarter instead of investing time and money into retraining workers and management to change improper behaviors/practices.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date7/1/226/30/25

Funding

  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $400,000.00

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