Gullah Geechee Cooperative Builds with Food Safety Focus

June 23, 2021Food Safety No Comments

By Billy Mitchell, NFU Food Safety Training Coordinator, & Tricia Wancko, NFU Food Safety Grant Coordinator A visit to the Gullah Farmers Cooperative processing, packing, and distribution facility on St. Helena Island, South Carolina, fills you with the same sense of promise as a freshly tilled field in spring—all the pieces are in place and … Read More

 Food Safety Spotlight: Food Hubs and Food Safety

June 9, 2021Blog, Food Safety No Comments

By Billy Mitchell, NFU Food Safety Training Coordinator, & Tricia Wancko, NFU Food Safety Grant Coordinator “I’m really passionate about helping to make the local food movement in Alabama successful, and I feel like that is only going to happen if we are extremely creative and cooperative,” explained Farm Food Collaborative Co-Manager Carey Martin-Lane at … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: The ABCs in School Gardens

May 13, 2021Food Safety No Comments

By Billy Mitchell, NFU Food Safety Training Coordinator Farm to school programs continue to grow in popularity, with some schools taking part in hyper-local sourcing by using school gardens and farms to provide students with opportunities for taste testing and hands-on learning. Teachers tending these school plots may ask themselves, “how do we grow the best tasting produce while following food safety practices to keep our kids safe?” Thankfully, teachers are well-primed to … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: Good Design for Good Practices

April 28, 2021Blog, Food Safety No Comments

By Billy Mitchell, NFU Food Safety Training Coordinator On a recent episode of the Tilth Alliance Farm Walks Podcast, Ryan Lichttenegger of Steel Wheel Farm in Fall City, Washington, and Andy Chamberlin, Agricultural Engineering Technician at the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension, dove into some of the ins and outs of DIY hygienic design. Lichttenegger recently … Read More

 Diagnose and Discuss: Food Safety Clinic Benefits Growers

April 15, 2021Food Safety No Comments

By Billy Mitchell, NFU Food Safety Training Coordinator If you have a community-based farm and want to identify ways to strengthen your operation, there’s no better place to go for suggestions and solutions than other farmers— alongside some back up from educators who know your area well. Pennsylvania Farmers Union (PAFU) created a virtual space for urban growers to gather, learn, diagnose, and discuss areas for potential improvement on their farms at the Mid-Atlantic Produce Safety Clinic for Growers. The clinic … Read More

Scaling Good Manufacturing Processes Education to Small-Scale Processors

March 31, 2021Food Safety No Comments

By Tricia Wancko, Food Safety Grant Coordinator Many small-scale farms and food businesses—whether they are chopping, canning, preserving, aggregating, or dehydrating value-added products—might not know where to begin when navigating the Preventive Controls Rule (PCR) of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). While many of these small processors may be exempt from parts of the rule, they still must comply with Current Good Manufacturing Processes (cGMPs). CGMPs are the foundation for … Read More

Good Practices Bring Great Results for Small Farms

March 18, 2021Blog, Food Safety No Comments

By Billy Mitchell, NFU FSMA Training Coordinator “Camaraderie with the whole team.”  “Much more fun!”  “Peace of mind.”  For most farmers, those phrases may conjure up memories of early fall picnics with staff, family, and friends after the season has slowed down. But for growers Kim Butz, Nathan Vannette, and Roberto Meza, those were the phrases that came to … Read More

Meeting Urban Growers’ Unique Produce Safety Needs

March 4, 2021Food Safety No Comments

By Billy Mitchell, NFU FSMA Training Coordinator One of the many lessons I’ve learned, or I should say re-learned, over the past year is how important titles can be. I’ve gone from searching “15-minute yoga” on YouTube to the more specific “15-minute Zoom fatigue yoga.” It may be mostly the same content, but if “Zoom” … Read More