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Good agricultural practices workshop

University of Minnesota Educators Michele Schermann and Analisa Holtberg will present a Good Agricultural Practices Workshop on Thursday, Feb. 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Minnesota National Bank in Long Prairie.

As producers begin to scale up to sell their products to larger outlets like schools or wholesalers, they might find that their new prospective buyers require Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification. In some cases, buyers might be willing to accept verification of a working food safety plan as evidence that good practices are followed. Whether or not a buyer demands a food safety plan, all farmers should be concerned about the public health and safety implications of their product.

If you are a fruit and vegetable market grower, attend this workshop to learn how good business practices, good agricultural practices and marketing are interconnected. Discover how GAPs can help minimize food safety risks with fresh produce. Good Agricultural Practices are good for business, good for getting new customers and good for keeping the ones you already have.

By the end of this workshop, you will:

• Develop a better understanding of produce safety on your fresh fruit and vegetable farm.

• Identify types of human pathogens that can contaminate fresh produce.

• Understand common ways that produce might become contaminated on the farm.

• Describe strategies to prevent and reduce risks of contamination by human pathogens.

• Practice writing food safety standard operating procedures s and risk assessment statements.

Register at The cost is $15 and includes lunch and materials. Space is limited. If the workshop fills, you will be added to a waiting list.

Make checks payable to "U of MN Extension" and send to U of MN Extension — Morrison County, 213 First Ave. SE, Little Falls, MN 56345. Registration is confirmed upon receipt of payment.

Taking this workshop will not result in your farm being "GAPs certified." GAPs certification is done by a third party and involves the successful completion of an on-farm audit.

For more information about GAPs, visit

Until next time, happy gardening!