Cody, Riverton Workshops Provide ‘Good Agricultural Practices’ Information

By: Czarina Alegre

Ways to increase food safety through on-farm practices is the focus of good agricultural practices (GAP) workshops next week in Cody and Riverton.

The Cody session is Monday and Tuesday, March 28-29, and the Riverton session is Wednesday and Thursday, March 30-31.

The workshops benefit producers, retailers and wholesalers in supermarkets, farmers market managers and managers in food service industries, says Jeff Edwards, University of Wyoming Extension educator.

Sessions start 9 a.m. both days and end by noon the second. Snacks and lunches are provided. Registration is $30. Register for the Cody workshop at either https://2016codygaps.eventbrite.com or the Riverton workshop at https://2016rivertongaps.eventbrite.com.

“The GAP workshops will equip producers with the knowledge to create a written food safety plan,” Edwards says. “You only need to participate in one location.”

Recent outbreaks of food-borne illnesses involving fresh and processed food products have heightened public concern about food safety, he says.

“Food safety begins with sound practices on the farm, especially with fresh vegetable and fruit produce,” Edwards says. “Many fresh produce retailers now require their suppliers to have third-party audits to verify safe food production and handling practices on the farm.”

Workshop topics include:

— Produce safety risk factors and impacts.

— Post-harvest produce handling.

— Water quality and testing.

— Creating a food safety plan.

— Auditing farms for GAPs/food safety.

— Soil management/manure management.

— Worker health and hygiene.

— Traceability, recall and liability issues.

A binder of materials is provided. All printed class materials and other resources (such as editable templates) are provided on a USB drive.

For more information, contact Edwards at (307) 837-2956 or jedward4@uwyo.edu.

UW Extension, University of Nebraska Extension, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture and the Wyoming Farmers Marketing Association offer the workshops.