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Tommy Saunders, M.S.

Tommy Saunders

PSA Southeast Regional Extension Associate

Based in Richmond, Virginia
(607) 882-0489

Before joining the Produce Safety Alliance in March 2020, Tommy worked at Virginia Tech as a food safety extension associate for 3 years. As a team member of the Food Science and Technology department, Tommy focused on many areas of food safety. He assisted in the development of science-based content for instructional materials, extension publications, fact sheets, on-line training modules and other outputs to help educate extension agents, food producers and consumers on key issues related to food safety. He was able to assist with trainings and technical assistance targeted toward fresh produce growers, farmers market managers and vendors, and value-added food producers across the state. A focus of Tommy’s time with Virginia Tech was helping Virginia growers meet requirements to comply with FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule. As a trainer and lead trainer, Tommy was able to help host Produce Safety Alliance grower trainings all around the state of Virginia. He worked closely with extension agents and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), Produce Safety Team to help Virginia work as a cohesive team as compliance dates approached for Virginia growers. Tommy also was the primary VT/VCE contact for growers wanting to participate in NASDA’s On Farm Readiness Review (OFRR). He worked with a team of VDACS inspectors and Virginia Cooperative Extension agents to perform OFRRs for Virginia growers that fall under the produce safety rule and how to apply regulation requirements to their everyday practices. Tommy received both his Bachelor of Science in Biology and Master of Science in Food Science and Technology from Virginia Tech.