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sell to schools, get GAP trained

Posted: January 18 2011
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification Training
February 15th &16th 2011

Anderson County Civic Center. 3027 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.; Anderson, SC
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, in partnership with the Clemson University Sustainable Agriculture Program and Anderson County, is offering Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) training to local farmers, extension agents, institutional food service managers, and other interested agricultural professionals who work with vegetable and/or fruit growers.  Typically offered only during the growing season, this is a unique, off-season opportunity for area farmers to take advantage of an educational opportunity that is in high demand. The workshop is scheduled for February 15 & 16, 2011, from 8:30am – 4:00pm both days.  Breakfast and lunch is included on both days.
GAP is a certification program relating to the safety of fresh produce.  At a time when food safety has become a prominent national issue, as demonstrated by the new comprehensive food safety bill recently approved by the White House, it is critical that farmers, agriculture/food professionals, and extension agents understand production methods and certification opportunities that increase consumer confidence and open up important institutional markets to small farmers.
The two-day workshop will include classroom style training on day one and a field trip to a local farm for a mock audit demonstration on the second day.  Training topics will include: 1) Introduction to fresh produce food safety; 2) GAPs field practices; 3) Packing facility sanitation; 4) Worker health and hygiene; 5) Animals, animal byproducts, biosolids, and site selection; 6) Water quality. In addition, participants will learn about cost-effective ways to implement GAPs and practical steps to develop a GAPs plan.
Our classroom instructor is Dr. Lynn Turner, Professor of Food Science at North Carolina State University and an expert on fresh produce food safety. Training will be facilitated by Jack Dantzler, Director of Inspections and Grading for the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, who will walk participants through the GAP certification process and a mock on-farm audit.
This workshop has been generously sponsored by Anderson County, as part of their ongoing effort to support area farmers and grow the economy through the development of a local food system.  There are full scholarships available for the first 20 Anderson County producers to register.  The scholarships are available on a first come, first served basis.  Please see attached letter for further information on scholarships for Anderson County producers.
If you are not a producer or are a producer outside Anderson County you are still invited to attend for a nominal fee of $60.  This fee covers all printed materials, as well as catered breakfast and lunch on both days.  Anderson’s acclaimed Friends at the Cove restaurant will be providing the meals.  Registration closes on February 6th and total spaces are limited to 40, so interested parties are encouraged to please register early.
To obtain a registration form for the workshop, contact Kelly Gilkerson at Clemson University, [email protected].
For more information about this event, contact Carolina Farm Stewardship Association regional coordinator, Diana Vossbrinck, at (864) 517-4720 or[email protected].
Anderson, SC