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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Cleaner, Safer Produce? Program for Farmers is April 14

March 15, 2012

CANFIELD, Ohio -- A program on preventing microbial contamination on fruit and vegetable farms takes place in Mahoning County on April 14. Hours are 1-4 p.m. at Mill Creek MetroParks Farm, McMahon Hall, 7574 Columbiana-Canfield Road, Canfield.

Good Agricultural Practices, or GAPS, for fruit and vegetable production are the focus.

Experts from Ohio State University Extension will be the instructors.

Participants will receive a resource workbook, paper handouts and a certificate of participation.

“The Food and Drug Administration will be releasing draft standards for safe production of fruits and vegetables later this year,” said Ashley Kulhanek of Ohio State University’s Fruit and Vegetable Safety Team, the program’s sponsor. “So it’s a good time to learn about GAPS.”

Attendees won’t actually become certified in GAPS by taking the course, Kulhanek noted. That certification comes only through a farm audit by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or a third-party company.

Some customers want a farm to have an actual audit certificate, some want a farm just to have GAPS education and some want both, Kulhanek said. Growers should check with their customers to find out what they want, she said.

Call Eric Barrett at 330-533-5538 or e-mail to reserve a seat.

Registration is $10 per person at the door, payable by cash or check, with checks made out to “OSP.”

The registration cost is lower than it was for similar programs last year, Kulhanek said, thanks to a grant from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The program also will be offered March 20 in Clayton, March 30 in Geauga County, April 11 in Piketon, April 12 in Morgan County, April 17 in Knox County and April 27 in Wooster.

For more information, call 330-202-3555, ext. 2918.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

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Ashley Kulhanek