May 24, 2016
GAP training available for Latino farmworkers, growers

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension will host the first of several Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) workshops in Spanish June 3-4. MSU Extension, in cooperation with Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS), will be hosting GAP workshops in Spanish throughout the 2016 crop season.

The June 3-4 workshop will be held at the MSU Trevor Nichols Research Center in Fennville. The workshop will consist of a half day of classroom training and a full day of hands-on session on a farm. The agenda for the workshop:

  • Friday, June 3 – Classroom session:
    • Introduction to GAP to Minimize Food Safety Issues
    • Blueberry Pre and Post-harvest Microbial Contamination
    • Worker Health & Hygiene
    • Field Sanitation
    • Water Quality
  • Saturday, June 4 – Hands-On Training:
    • USDA checklist-GAP MDA
    • How to develop your own food safety manual
    • How to conduct a Risk Assessment prior to a 3rd party audit

All training will be conducted by the fruit MSUE produce safety team members: Carlos García-Salazar, Phil Tocco, Anamaría Gómez-Rodas and Mark Longstroth, as well as Filiberto Villa from MIFFS as collaborator.

At the hands-on segment, trainees will develop their food safety manuals with information they will bring to the classroom. Also, they will conduct a risk assessment at their farm using their food safety manuals and with the assistance of the MSU Extension instructors. During the training, growers will receive one-on-one assistance to conduct their risk assessment at their farm and assistance to develop their food safety manuals. After training, we will follow up with help for growers who may need further assistance.

Growers and farmworkers participating in this training will receive a certificate of completion of training.  Blueberry growers and other fruit growers in Kent, Ottawa, Allegan, Van Buren and other neighboring counties are encouraged to send their Spanish-speaking farmworkers to take advantage of this training to comply with the new FSMA rules.

There will be a recuperation fee of $30 per participant that will cover materials, refreshments and lunches. To register, call Filiberto Villa at 269-830-2309.

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