Those interested in taking advantage of crops that can be grown commercially, but do not require hundreds of acres, can register for the second of a two-part series sponsored by USDA’s Risk Management Agency and Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension.
“The Food Safety Workshop is the second of a two-part series and will include information on fertigation, pest management, Good Agricultural Practices), record keeping, post-harvest handling and more,” said Jennifer Jensen, OSU Cooperative Extension assistant, risk management education. “Participants don’t need to have attended the first event to register for this one.”
The workshop is slated July 24 at the one acre garden site north of the gravel parking lot at Paradise Casino, 7500 Highway 177, in Red Rock from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The event is hosted by the Otoe-Missouria and Ponca tribes.
“Food safety is an important aspect of growing fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Lynn Brandenberger, professor in OSU’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. “The upcoming workshop on risk management will include sessions on what to consider when developing your farm’s food safety plan and how to get started on this important first step for food safety.”
Health benefits are strongly linked to increased consumption of fresh produce, but an increase in the incidence of food borne illnesses also is linked to this increase. The key to reducing food borne illness is preventing contamination of fresh produce.
“A comprehensive food safety system, from farm to table, is needed to minimize the risk of foodborne illness,” said William McGlynn, professor in OSU’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. “Education and a commitment by growers, processors and consumers alike to best growing and handling practices will help ensure fresh fruits and vegetables are both safe and healthy.”
The implementation of a farm food safety plan for growers is the initial step in providing safe and nutritious fresh produce for market. The food safety workshop will train fresh market farmers in food safety techniques.
There is no cost to attend, but participants are asked to pre-register to ensure adequate meal preparation for the complimentary lunch, by contacting Jensen at 405-744-9826 or firstname.lastname@example.org.