This month, NASDA’s Bob Ehart and Carol Perrier convened a group of university extension partners to plan a new course of on-farm trainings for state produce safety regulators and educators. The group met at the Michigan State University Horticulture Teaching and Research Center in Holt, Michigan, to develop a companion course to the On Farm Readiness Review Assessor Training that has trained over 600 state, university, and FDA staff since its inception in 2017. The new training will provide hands on scenario based learning where trainees can practice using systems based thinking in applying the Produce Safety Rule to produce farm operations.
In the On Farm Readiness Review Program, assessors conduct voluntary, non-regulatory, confidential visits to farms to observe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding practices and provide constructive input on how those practices align with regulatory expectations. The OFRR Assessor Training and the new hands-on scenario based trainings can provide state staff with the necessary skills to continue these important educational farm visits across the country.