PULLMAN, Wash. — Farms certified for exercising and documenting Good Agricultural Practices, or GAPs, not only improve on-farm food safety but also open potential new markets with buyers requiring GAPs certification. Washington State University is presenting a two-part educational series of GAPs workshops for growers in various locations around the state.
Session one will provide an overview and initial guidance on implementing on-farm food safety practices, and will be presented over the next two months.
Dec. 2: Fort Warden State Park, Commons Bldg, Port Townsend.
Dec. 3: WSU Snohomish County Extension, 600 128th St. S.E., Everett.
Jan. 13: WSU Whatcom County Extension, 1000 N. Forest St., #201, Bellingham.
Jan. 14: Washington State Department of Agriculture Building, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Room 172, Olympia.
The daylong workshops will run from 8 am to 4 pm at all locations. The cost for both sessions is $75 and includes lunch, refreshments and course materials. Registration and advance payment are required. For more information and registration, visit http://foodsafety.wsu.edu and click on “Good Agricultural Practices” in the menu on the left.
Session two workshops will be scheduled for the week of Feb. 28 to March 3. Those sessions will provide participants with an opportunity to discuss and work with the speakers to address food safety issues specific to their farming systems.
Participants must attend session one to attend the second session. Those completing both sessions will receive a certificate of completion and are eligible for follow-up support. WSU is not an official GAPs third-party certification organization, but those interested in pursuing certification that complete both sessions and a series of assignments will be eligible for a mock GAPs audit conducted by WSU Extension faculty and staff to help them prepare.
Funding for this project is provided by the Washington State University Western Center for Risk Management Education and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
For more information about GAPs and the Extension workshops, contact Karen Killinger at 509-335-2970 or firstname.lastname@example.org.