Ag training offered by Rural Action, ASD


Staff Report



OHIO VALLEY — In partnership with Appalachian Sustainable Development, asdevelop.org, Rural Action will be offering a one-day training to prepare farm and food businesses for a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit and certification.

GAP and Good Handling Practices (GHP) are voluntary audits that assure consumers and wholesale purchasers that fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled and stored as safely as possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards. GAP and GHP audits verify adherence to recommendations made in the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s “Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables” and industry recognized food safety practices.

To support farmers in meeting food safety requirements, Rural Action and Appalachian Sustainable Development are offering training and technical support on Wednesday, March 28 in a day-long workshop at the Marion Community Center located at 7979 College St. Chesterhill, OH 43728. The training will begin at 9 a.m and is scheduled to end at 5 p.m. with lunch included in the $10 registration cost. The training will be presented by Adam Watson, Compliance and Grower Manager for Appalachian Harvest; ASD’s 17 year-old Food Hub in Duffield, Virginia. It will be presented in non-electronic format.

The training will help farmers prepare a Plan of Action Manual, and go through mock audits to help ensure that high GAP standards are in place. Topics covered in the training will include: water quality; worker training, health and hygiene; manure and compost handling; soil management; and domestic and wild animals. Attendees will receive record keeping materials and learn food safety techniques of value even if you are not currently considering pursuing GAP certification.

Registration is required for this event. To register, contact Tom Redfern at tomr@ruralaction org 740-677-4047.

Rural Action is a member-based sustainable community development organization. Its mission is to foster social, economic, and environmental justice in Appalachian Ohio. Rural Action’s Sustainable Agriculture Program works with local, regional and statewide partners to build and strengthen local food systems in Southeast Ohio. Appalachian Sustainable Development’s mission is to transition Appalachia to a more resilient economy and a healthier population by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people to healthy food. Learn more about Rural Action at ruralaction.org and Appalachian Sustainable development at asdevelop.org. One can also keep up with their work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Staff Report