By Sherri Dugger, Indiana Farmers Union

Indiana Farmers Union believes in building strong local and regional food systems. These food systems help farmers and food producers maintain strong and transparent relationships with their customers. They also contribute to resilient local economies, to rural development, and environmental sustainability.

Did you know, for instance, that research shows that every dollar spent in local businesses produces one-and-a-half to four times the number of jobs as a dollar spent in a similar nonlocal business? Why? Because 47 percent of revenue from local businesses recirculates in the local economy versus 14 percent of revenue you will see recirculating from chain businesses.

One of the most important ways we can build local food systems is by making sure the food we raise, harvest, and sell is safe. At Indiana Farmers Union, we want to help our state’s family farmers better navigate the federal government’s food safety regulations in order to build and support these systems.

If you’re a farmer or food producer, use this short questionnaire to quickly gauge your understanding of the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety and Preventive Controls for Human Food rules. Regardless of your operation’s size, location, or commodities grown, you may be required to comply with these rules if your customers request compliance or require third-party audits of your farm. This short quiz will help you better understand what you need to know about food-safe practices.

And don’t worry if you’re not sure of the answers. We hope this quiz will provide you with a good sense of whether you need to pursue additional food safety training. As part of a Local Food Safety Collaborative grant program administered by National Farmers Union, Indiana Farmers Union now has two trainers on board to offer free one-on-one consultations with Indiana farmers and food producers. Throughout 2018, we also will be hosting free food safety plan workshops and third-party farm audit workshops to help you better understand the importance of food safety practices on your farm.

We want to help Hoosier farmers provide their customers with healthy, fresh, safe and locally grown food. If you have questions or want to schedule a consultation, please contact Sherri Dugger at

(To see the original post on the Indiana Farmers Union website, please click here.)