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Food safety trainings scheduled for farmers

Posted 3/21/2019

hands pulling purple leaves in a hoop house

The Desert Farming Initiative offers “Food Safety in Nevada” May 3 to teach best produce safety practices to Nevada growers. Photo by the Desert Farming Initiative.

Workshops offered ahead of compliance inspections for Nevada farms

The University of Nevada, Reno, Desert Farming Initiative in partnership with the Nevada Department of Agriculture, is hosting a “Food Safety in Nevada” workshop in Reno for small farms and organic operations. The workshop will cover produce safety issues and give a demonstration of post-harvest produce handling.

“Although many small Nevada farms are exempt from new food safety regulations, the goal of these workshops is to help farmers become aware of how farm products can become contaminated and preventative activities that can help mitigate risks,” Ashley Jeppson, Food Safety Program manager for the Nevada Department of Agriculture, said.

Representatives from Basin and Range Organics and the Great Basin Community Food Co-op’s Distributors of Regional and Organic Produce and Products will also discuss food safety considerations on organic farms and in food hubs.

“Recalls of lettuces in recent years have increased concerns about produce safety,” said Education Program Coordinator Jill Moe, with the Initiative. “This workshop on post-harvest handling will kick off a Desert Farming Initiative series that takes an in-depth look at methods for preventing contamination.”

The workshop will take place 2-5 p.m., May 3, at 920 Valley Road in Reno, and is free to attend, with a $10 suggested donation to benefit the Desert Farming Initiative student intern program. Registration is required by April 26 and can be done online at the workshop’s registration page. Appetizers and beverages from the farm will be served at a mixer after the workshop, 5-6:30 p.m., including a raffle fundraiser also benefitting the student intern program.

The Desert Farming Initiative is a collaboration of the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, including the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension. For more information on the Initiative or the May 3 workshop, contact Moe at 775-682-9782 or jmoe@cabnr.unr.edu.

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