By Andre Salazar, Dan Fillius
ISU Extension and Outreach
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host five Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training course events starting in December and concluding in March 2023. The training will provide an opportunity for commercial fruit and vegetable growers, home produce gardeners and other produce enthusiasts to learn and understand produce safety as defined in the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule and Good Agricultural Practices standards.
Classes are as follows:
- Dec. 15 – Remote virtual.
- Jan. 11 – In-person, Boone.
- Jan. 24 and 26 (two days) – Remote virtual.
- Feb. 8 – In-person, Iowa City.
- March 7 and 9 (two days) – Remote virtual.
Additional information and registration links are available on the Iowa State University Safe Produce website in the “Events” tab.
Instructional content and requirements
Each PSA Grower Training course event outlines and details FSMA Produce Safety Rule and GAP key requirements in the following instructional modules:
- Introduction to Produce Safety.
- Worker Health, Hygiene and Training.
- Soil Amendments.
- Wildlife, Domesticated Animals and Land Use.
- Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water).
- Postharvest Handling and Sanitation.
- How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan.
Instructional modules are taught by PSA-qualified ISU Extension and Outreach specialists and consist of approximately seven hours of instruction including time for questions and discussion.
PSA Grower Training requires that attendees must be present during all instructional modules and possess a PSA Grower Training manual during module instruction. The PSA Grower Training manual is included in the course registration fee. Two growers or employees from the same farm or company may share a manual and attend the training together for a single registration fee.
For commercial fruit and vegetable growers, PSA Grower Training course satisfies the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement that “at least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.”
“Home produce gardeners and produce enthusiasts will acquire the produce safety knowledge and practices to assure fruits and vegetables grown and harvested in their garden are safe for human consumption,” Andre Salazar, extension education specialist for produce safety with ISU Extension and Outreach, said.
PSA Grower Training course attendees will be eligible to receive an Association of Food and Drug Officials certificate verifying course completion. To receive an AFDO certificate, PSA Grower Training course lead trainer will require attendees to complete and submit necessary forms at course completion.
The registration fee is $20 for Iowa growers and residents and $120 for out-of-state growers. The fee cost includes course attendance, PSA Grower Training manual and AFDO certificate.
Mail-in registration for the course can be requested by emailing IowaFSMA@iastate.edu or call 515-294-2552. The course event information and a paper registration form will be mailed to you and the registration fee can be paid by a check or money order.