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 Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices and co-management of natural resources and food safety should attend,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “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 sessions will be held:

  • Saturday, Sept. 28, at Dakota College at Bottineau in the Thatcher building, McMaster conference room, 105 Simrall Blvd., Bottineau
  • Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Jon L. Wanzek Center for Scouting, 4200 19th Ave. S., Fargo
  • Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, at the Baymont Inn & Suites, 2611 Old Red Trail, Mandan (one day prior to state local foods conference)
  • Saturday, May 16, 2020, at the Bowman Lodge & Convention Center, 207 US-12, Bowman

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 a full day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with registration starting at 8:30 a.m. There will be a one-hour break for attendees to leave for lunch.

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, go to https://www.nd.gov/ndda/psr.