Join us to connect with staff of land-based farm incubator and apprenticeship training programs! Share challenges faced by land-based training programs supporting a diversity of beginning farmers and brainstorm ideas, solutions, and shared resources. Network in breakout groups to mix and mingle with other incubator farm program staff and apprenticeship staff across the country to do some networking, connecting, and sharing of project updates!
This month's session topic is: Food Safety Training. Many of the smaller-scale producers we work with may be exempt from compliance with the Produce Safety Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t pay attention to food safety on the farm! How are land-based training programs supporting beginning producers with food safety education and training? How do we support small-scale farmers with the required audits or buyer requirements? This month’s networking session will be led by ALBA who has a deep history with helping producers access markets that require food safety training and third-party certifications. ALBA's Farmer Education and Enterprise Development (FEED) project develops the organic farming skills of immigrant farmworkers to support a more equitable and environmentally sustainable agriculture sector. The project leverages ALBA’s experienced bilingual staff, a proven consortium of farm service providers and a 100-acre organic farm training facility in the Salinas Valley. Join ALBA to move this important conversation forward!
Join your peers to explore questions such as:
1. How do you help farmers with food safety training and education? What does “marketing success” look like in your program?
2. Does your training program (or your farmers’ buyers) “require” a third-party certification (GAP, Group-GAP, PSA training, or other credential) to sell through your program or to their other markets?
3. What are the barriers your farmers face in seeking food safety training or certification? (access to capital/facilities, ability to keep records, cost of audits, lack of market demand, etc.)?
4. What are the best ways to incentivize farmers to build the food safety skills - and really habits – that will help them succeed? Bring your ideas around best food safety practices, training strategies, recordkeeping approaches, and more!
Come with questions you’d like to get diverse perspectives from peers across the country. We are open to a diversity of conversation topics – come ready to share and/or gain new perspective on some of your sticky programmatic challenges! If you have a topic you’d like to host at a future session, please email Jennifer to discuss ideas: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have new staff working with your incubator farm program or your apprenticeship training program, please invite them to come and network and meet their peers across the country to build connections.