Over 20,000 Produce Growers Trained!
The PSA team, along with its cadre of PSA Trainers and Lead Trainers, have trained 20,239 growers domestically and internationally. Check out our latest quarterly report to see the latest updates on courses held , growers and educators trained, and other PSA training metrics.
PSA Hosts National Water Summit
On February 27-28, 2018, the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) convened a national Water Summit in Covington, KY to explore the challenges related to the requirements of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule (PSR) Subpart E - Agricultural Water and to discuss potential solutions that are practical for farmers while still protecting public health. 102 participants were on-site in Covington, KY, 251 participated at 24 remote sites established across the country, and an additional 250 logged in to the public web connection from 43 US states, Puerto Rico, and 8 other countries. The goal of the Summit was to increase understanding and work collaboratively to develop ideas that support risk reduction related to agricultural water used during the production of fresh fruits and vegetables. Visit our website archive for more information and to access the meeting recording.
March 2017, December 2017, January 2018...
PSA Hosts Three National Soil Summits
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has RESERVED part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule regarding the application intervals for untreated Biological Soil Amendments of Animal Origin (BSAAO) that was published in the Federal Register on November 27, 2015. Marking this section as RESERVED was as a result of stakeholder concerns with application intervals in the proposed rule. The FDA is conducting additional research, working with other researchers, and working to conduct a formal risk assessment. The Soil Summits were designed to allow growers and others in the produce industry to provide information and insights that can inform this process to ensure FDA has a good understanding of how untreated BSAAO are used on produce farms and the challenges growers face on implementing practices to reduce risks. Visit our website archive for more information and to access the presentations.
PSA Launches Trainings Nationally
The PSA has officially launched its’ Grower Training and Train-the-Trainer Courses across the country. For more information about locations and dates of trainings, visit our training information page.
PSA Grower Training Preview at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) Meeting
The PSA engaged with NASDA to provide a preview of the newly updated curriculum materials and training to 107 state regulators and Department of Agriculture staff in Orlando, FL.
September 2015–July 2016...
PSA and FDA Division of Produce Safety Curriculum Updating Process
After the release of the final FSMA Produce Safety Rule, Produce Safety Alliance Staff and FDA’s Division of Produce Safety Staff engaged in an extensive editing and updating process to incorporate the final FSMA requirements into the curriculum content and teaching notes. The resulting curriculum provides a balance between Good Agricultural Practices and FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements.
PSA Train-the-Trainer Program
The PSA officially launched the PSA Train-the-Trainer Program, hosting two trainings; the first in Kalamazoo, MI attended by 54 participants and the second in Harrisburg, PA attended by 50 participants. A special thank you to our collaborators at Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Michigan State University Extension, Great Lakes Conference on Food Protection, Penn State Extension, and the Pennsylvania Food Safety Resource Center for all of their help in organizing and making these first two trainings a success. We received lots constructive and positive feedback from the first cadre of trainers to help us as we continually improve the course.
Pilot Program Evaluation and Revisions
The Train-the-Trainer and Grower Pilots are currently being evaluated and modified, prior to nationwide launch of the training programs.
PSA Grower Pilot—Hershey, PA
The first pilot grower training was held at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey, PA on January 26, 2015. Participation was open to the public. Thirty-three produce growers attended and provided useful feedback on the curriculum materials and training program, as well as 15 educator observers.
PSA Train-the-Trainer Pilot—Geneva, NY
Thirty-eight individuals ranging from produce growers, academics, regulators, and produce industry members convened at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY to evaluate the PSA’s proposed Train-the-Trainer program, curriculum materials, and trainer certification process.
Special Session at The International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) Meeting—Indianapolis, IN
This special session hosted at IAFP provided an update on the PSA’s progress with curriculum development, outreach, and future training opportunities for the PSA Train-the-Trainer and Grower Training Programs. FDA Produce Safety Staff Director, Dr. Samir Assar discussed FDA’s commitment to education and outreach to aid in implementation of the final rule for produce safety included in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Produce Safety Educator’s Group Formed
The PSA began hosting monthly meetings and FSMA specific webinars for produce safety educators to discuss challenges related to outreach and education, funding for training, and technical assistance. Currently 200+ educators receive monthly updates, meeting notes, and webinar recordings, with an average meeting attendance each month of 35-50.
Trainer Competency Discussion at Center for Produce Safety Annual Meeting—Rochester, NY
Twenty-seven individuals from academia, industry, and government met prior to the annual CPS conference to discuss qualifications of trainers and logistics of trainer certification.
The PSA hosted eight very informative question and answer sessions with the FDA's produce Safety Staff to discuss specific sections of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Proposed Produce Safety Rule from March to May. If you were not able to attend any of the eight Q & A sessions, the audio recordings from each session with the FDA Produce Safety Staff are now available for listening online. These sessions were unscripted and driven by actual situations and questions from farmers, packers, retailers, educators, and industry members. The Q & A series covered key areas of the proposed Produce Rule including: Understanding Exemptions; Agricultural Water; Soil Amendments; Domestic and Wild Animals; Growing, Harvesting, Packing, & Holding; Equipment, Tools, Buildings, & Sanitation; Health, Hygiene and Training for Workers; and Recordkeeping, Compliance, & Enforcement.
We are happy to report that the learning objectives for the curriculum have been finalized and we are moving onto content development. The learning objectives are reflective of the working committee process, farmer focus groups, and identified educational needs based on collaborator programs from around the country. The six modules developed will encompass worker health and hygiene, water (production and postharvest), soil amendments, wildlife, postharvest handling, and how to develop a farm food safety plan.
All ten working committees have published their summaries and recommendations to aid in curriculum development. We greatly appreciate the 178 working committee members who participated in over 70 working committee meetings throughout the past year. A special thanks to the 20 co-chairs who provided their expertise and leadership to guide the WCs to completion. All WC notes and summaries are now posted online for download.
Focus groups with 89 small fruit and vegetables growers across the country were held through the months of February to April to gather their thoughts, challenges, and preferences related to implementing food safety practices on the farm as well as to determine their preferred learning style, educational media, and critical aspects to effective training sessions. The final report summarizing the data can be found here.
March 14, 2012...
Many of the Working Committees (WCs) are entering their final conference calls and discussing their draft summaries. All summaries will be made available for download as they are finalized on our website. To date, we have hosted 65 committee meetings with 180 members engaged in the process.
Working committees 1–6 are wrapping up their discussions and submitting final recommendations to the Executive committee. Working committees 7–10 will continue to meet after the New Year — there's still time to join us in the process. So far we have held 49 committee meetings and worked with 168 different committee members in 34 states!
August 17, 2011...
All ten working committees are up and running! Check the calendar and working committee notes to get updates on their progress.
June 29 & 30, 2011...
- Co-Management of Food Safety and Conservation Practices
Laura Giudici Mills—Metz Fresh, LLC
- Farm-to-Table Food Safety for Colorado Produce Crops (out of date, no longer available)
Marisa Bunning, Colorado State University
- Farming with Food Safety and Conservation in Mind
Jo Ann Baumgartner — Wild Farm Alliance
- Florida Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Training Program
Keith Schneider — University of Florida
- Food Safety for Local Growers
Johnna Hepner — Produce Marketing Association
- Introduction to the Produce Safety Alliance
Betsy Bihn and Robert Gravani — Cornell University
- Novel Approaches to GAPs Training, Tools, and Evaluation
Ben Chapman — North Carolina State University
- Small Growers with an Emphasis on Organic/Sustainable Growers,
Chris Gunter — North Carolina State University
- The On Farm Food Safety Project: A Comprehensive Resource for Developing a Customized On-Farm Food Safety Plan
Jim Slama — Family Farmed
- Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee
Arizona Leafy Greens Products Shipper Marketing Agreement
- Farming with Food Safety and Conservation in Mind
Wild Farm Alliance
- On-Farm Food Safety Program
- Rhode Island GAP – Training and Certification
University of Rhode Island
- Texas AgriLife Food Safety Website
Texas AgriLife Extension Service
- Texas GAPs and GHPs Food Safety Training Training Curriculum - Extension Publication B-6244
Texas AgriLife Extension Service
- Vegetable Crops Online Resources Center – Food Safety
Rutgers Cooperative Extension
April 1, 2011...
January 7, 2011...
Produce Safety Alliance Executive Committee meets in Washington, DC to formalize structure and function of the PSA.
November 4, 2010...
Press releases announce the formation of the Produce Safety Alliance. Select from the following links to view one of the published releases:
- FDA: November 4, 2010
- USDA: November 4, 2010
October 1, 2010...
Produce Safety Alliance is established through a cooperative agreement between Cornell University, USDA, and FDA is completed.