The North Dakota Department of Agriculture has scheduled free training sessions for produce growers across the state.

“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 should attend,” said Doug Goehring, agriculture commissioner. “Attending a session will satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement that requires at least one supervisor or responsible party on a farm to complete food safety training recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.”

The free in-person sessions will be held:

  • Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at Fluffy Fields Vineyard & Winery, 2708 21st St. E., Dickinson
  • Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center, 663 Hwy. 281 N., Carrington
  • Thursday, March 4, 2020, at Baymont Inn & Suites, 2611 Old Red Trail, Mandan

Topics to be covered include:

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  • Introduction to produce safety
  • Worker health, hygiene and training
  • Soil amendments
  • Wildlife, domesticated animals and land use
  • Agricultural 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 topic. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

The sessions are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time with registration starting at 8:30 a.m. There will be a one-hour break for attendees to leave for lunch.

There is also a two-day virtual option being offered on Dec. 8-9 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST each day. The cost for the virtual option is $20 as it is being offered in conjunction with partners from other states and will require mailing materials.

To ask questions about either the sessions or the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, contact Jamie Good, local foods specialist, at 701-328-2659 or jgood@nd.gov. To register for either the in-person or virtual sessions, go to https://www.nd.gov/ndda/psr.