Spring Growth Conference

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Spring Growth Conference: Food Safety Training


Virtual Training Schedule

  • Wednesday, March 24, 10-12 AM and 4-6 PM (2 – 2-hour sessions)
  • Wednesday, March 31, 4-6 PM
  • Wednesday, April 7, 4-6 PM
  • Wednesday, April 14, 4-6 PM
  • Wednesday, April 21, 4-6 PM
  • Wednesday, April 28, 4-6 PM


This year’s Spring Growth is free of charge this year thanks to funding from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

Produce Farmers Are Food Handlers! Let’s do it safely and effectively. 

Whether your primary goal is to establish or improve produce safety practices on your farm or to pass a food safety audit, a written food safety plan is a critical business tool. A food safety plan, written specific for your farm, provides a valuable road map to guide and reinforce practices effectively. It also serves as an effective training tool for your employees. 

This hands-on, produce safety class is spread over a 6-week period. Farmers are guided step-by-step through the process of writing a food safety plan. Utilizing FamilyFarmed’s food safety plan templates and other free online materials, participants create farm maps and perform risk assessments, establish their policies, standard operating procedures, logs, and record keeping/traceability systems.  

Following each week’s session, participants work on writing a section of their food safety plan. The next week’s session will include discussion of the participant’s work and an interactive training to prepare participants to write the next section of their plan. The final session includes local food safety experts: auditors, extension, or others to discuss participant’s next steps. For some participants that may be making improvements. Other’s might fully implement their plan and operate an audit-ready farm or peruse an on-farm readiness review or a food safety audit. 

Who Will Benefit from Attending?

Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about on-farm produce safety, the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources with food safety. Previous knowledge or experience is not necessary.

The Training Will Cover: 

  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Land Use, Co-Management, and Animals 
  • Risk Assessments
  • Worker Qualifications and Training
  • Human Health/Hygiene 
  • Agricultural Chemicals and Soil Amendments 
  • Agricultural Water 
  • Animal Control
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • Recordkeeping and Traceability

Materials to gather and have on hand before the first class:

  • 3 ring binder
  • 3 ring hole punch
  • 16 / 3 ring binder separator tabs

Offered in collaboration with familyfarmed

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