An agent Training Program in Safe Food Handling – Legal Liability

2009 Annual Report for ES08-090

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2008: $77,344.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:

An agent Training Program in Safe Food Handling – Legal Liability

Summary

This project has formed the creation and centralization of a comprehensive curriculum and resources to train and support a network of North Carolina Extension Agents and other agricultural professionals in the implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). Working knowledge of these practices along with liability issues associated with markets can assist farmers and farmers’ market managers in reducing the potential for microbial contamination and can protect farm incomes. Impacts from these trainings will show both knowledge and behavioral changes as indicated by evaluations, pre-post tests, implementation of food safety plans, and finally GAPs certification by farmers.

Objectives/Performance Targets

  • The objectives of this grant are to:
    create food safety trainers in each of the state’s 101 Cooperative Extension offices;
    promote knowledge of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPS) and Best Management Practices (BMPs) on small farms that sell raw produce directly to consumers;
    develop an understanding of the liabilities associated with the failure to implement GAPS and BMPs;
    understand the risk management tools available to reduce liability; and
    (provide food safety planning and training resources to producers.

Accomplishments/Milestones

Create food safety trainings resources for interested individuals via web-based tools.

Development of Fresh Produce Safety Curricula, PowerPoint slidesets, brand name, and a Tiered Education Program.
Curriculum is complete and distributed to all 100 Counties and the Cherokee Reservation. A brand name has been developed for this curriculum to both protect the integrity of the contents and to create market recognition for participants. The brand name is “N.C. MarketReady Fresh Produce Safety – Field to Family Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Training Initiative”. The curriculum has been developed for and targeted to the needs of educators such as North Carolina growers and the N.C. Cooperative Extension agents. The curriculum has been peer reviewed and has a large working group standing behind it. It contains the basics that will be provided to growers during training. This curriculum will complement the GAPs and Good Handling Practices (GHPs) outlined in the FDA/USDA “Guide to Minimizing Microbial Hazards in Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.” It will also address recent needs surfacing from USDA GAPs/ GHPs audits, other third-party audits and the GAPs certification process. It is designed as a train-the-trainer resource with an emphasis on increasing an understanding of the microbial risks associated with producing, harvesting, washing, sorting, packing and distributing fresh fruits and vegetables. The resources developed include this printed manual of the curriculum, with a corresponding jump drive containing electronic copies of PowerPoint slides, video clips (3) and a communications toolkit for the branded program. A special thank you to the University of Minnesota 4 GAPs Training Initiative — Introduction for allowing us to use video that shows good and bad examples of growers responding to media questions in an outbreak situation. Additionally a video of The Produce Lady was made discussing Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and how N.C. Cooperative Extension is training farmers across the state in GAPs in order to minimize risks throughout the food supply chain. She introduces different aspects of GAPs and provides information on sanitary methods of food handling, storage and transportation for growers and consumers. The curriculum is divided into nine modules, with each module encompassing 1 to 1.5 hour blocks of instruction. Each module provides a PowerPoint presentation, PDF files with more in-depth notes and references, learned experiences/exercises and handouts when appropriate, and pre-post tests (Modules 8 and 9 do not have pre-post tests).

Upon the recommendation by N.C. Cooperative Extension faculty and North Carolina growers, a
tiered educational program has been developed to encompass the wide range of growers’ needs reflecting farm size, markets and associated commodity-specific risks. It is designed to give producers a proactive, educational and incentive based program for their individual needs. As such, the modules within this curriculum serve as the basis for a progression of training tiers that will have three tiers developed in totality. For now, Tier 1 and Tier 2 specifics are included below and on website as on-line training modules and resource refreshers: http://www.ncsu.edu/fvsi/value-added/agents/index.php?section=fresh-produce-safety&page=educational-curriculum&subpage=tier-1 (See Appendix A for more details)

Tier 1 is the basic level of fresh produce safety training involving:
Content Covered: fresh produce-safety basics, pathogen introduction, GAPs for field practices, GHPs for packing facilities, proper health and hygiene, water quality, site selection and manure management.
Agents will deliver content of these modules and collect evaluations from participants.
Train from Modules 1 to 6.
Total of seven hours of instruction.
Certificate of Attendance will be issued to participants and participants will be listed on www.ncmarketready.org for end markets to view.
Charges: We encourage agents to charge a nominal fee to cover the resources given to
participants.
Suggestions on conducting instruction of this tier: ideally break-up into a series of three
two-hour classes, assigning homework for each session.

Module 1: Fresh Produce Safety Introduction (PPT)
Supplementary notes and references (PDF)
There are numerous points throughout the supply chain where fresh produce can be exposed to contaminants that can be passed on to consumers. N.C. MarketReady Fresh Produce Safety Module 1 establishes a foundational knowledge of the microbes and chemicals associated with produce contamination as well as how those agents might be introduced throughout the food supply chain. Producers can utilize Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) to reduce the potential for contamination in fresh produce.
Module 2: GAPs Field Practices (PPT)
Supplementary notes and references (PDF)
Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) start in the field. This N.C. MarketReady Fresh Produce Safety module identifies potential areas of pathogen contamination during the growth and harvest of fresh produce. Water use, fertilization, animal hazards, worker hygiene and harvest operations are the five areas addressed, including specific examples and recommendations to avoid contamination.
Module 3: Packing Facility Sanitation (PPT)
Supplementary notes and references (PDF)
Maintaining sanitation at the produce packing facility is detailed through the food safety guidelines known as Good Handling Practices (GHPs). GHPs address environmental controls to minimize risk of pathogen contamination at the stages of postharvest handling and packaging. The primary areas of concern for constant monitoring are packing house water, pest management, worker hygiene and facility sanitation.
Module 4: Health and Hygiene (PPT)
Supplementary notes and references (PDF)
There is a direct link between poor personal hygiene and food-borne illnesses. Ensuring proper hygiene as part of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) helps reduce the transfer of pathogens from person to person and from person to produce. Several laws and regulations exist to encourage hygiene practices that will help keep North Carolina produce clean and safe. This N.C. MarketReady Fresh Produce Safety module includes a review of common food-borne pathogens and diseases as well as discussing the importance of supervising farm worker health and providing appropriate first aid in the event of accident or injury. Effective hand washing and guidelines for restroom availability and sanitation are an essential aspect of reducing potential contamination throughout the food supply chain.
Module 5: Animals, Animal Byproducts, Biosolids and Site Selection (PPT)
Supplementary notes and references (PDF)
Though fresh produce can become microbiologically contaminated at any point from field to table, contamination associated with animal or human waste represents the greatest health hazard to humans. Fortunately, when points of contamination are identified, remedies can be implemented to eliminate or reduce microbial contamination of produce. This N.C. MarketReady Fresh Produce Safety module covers Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) as they relate to domestic and wild animals in or near production areas, the use of animal byproducts and biosolids for nutrient enrichment of produce fields, and evaluation of a site prior to produce cultivation.
Module 6: Water Quality (PPT)
Supplementary notes and references (PDF)
Fresh produce is exposed to water throughout its life cycle, from field irrigation to postharvest handling. It is important to keep the water supply safe from pathogen contamination, to continually monitor water quality and to treat any contaminated water. By recognizing the potential sites of produce contamination via water, producers can implement Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) that will keep produce clean and safe.

Tier 2 is the continuing level of fresh produce safety training that involves:
Content Covered: transportation, traceability and recalls, liability and insurance options,
crisis strategy and risk management.
Specialists will deliver content of these modules and collect evaluations from participants.
Train from Modules 7 to 9, plus risk identification and management workshops.
Total of seven hours of instruction.
Certificate of Attendance will be issued to participants and participants will be listed on www.ncmarketready.org for end markets to view.
Charges: fee-based workshops.
Suggestions on conducting instruction of this tier: ideally one-day workshop at least annually.

Module 7: The 3 Ts: Transportation, Traceback and Traceforward (PPT)
Supplementary notes and references (PDF)
Even after fresh produce has been picked, processed and packaged, follow-through with transportation and traceability requires adequate attention to ensure the highest quality product is delivered to the end consumer. Transportation issues related to fresh produce safety include cleanliness of the transporter, load compatibility and maintaining the cold chain. Government regulations require that “everybody in the supply chain must be able to trace one step back and one step forward.” Key components of traceability include maintaining lot integrity, labeling premises identification, product identification and electronically tracking the movement of the product through the food chain.
Module 8: Managing Liability and Risk (PPT)
Supplementary notes and references (PDF)
Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) are currently being implemented on a voluntary basis. Market data demonstrate that producers with GAPs certification rebound faster than those who are not certified after an outbreak of food-borne illness and an associated product recall. There are some costs to becoming GAPs certified, including first year expenses typically associated with changes in procedures, paperwork and record-keeping, as well as an annual fee for each crop certified. Each farm must consider the value certification offers by means of reducing economic risks and improving market-access opportunities. This N.C. MarketReady Fresh Produce Safety module also provides an overview of liability and insurance options to manage risk exposure.
Due to the legal and technical nature of this module, a video presentation by two of the contributing authors is available to download and play during the training and to ensure trainers are familiar and comfortable with this information. Video presentations of Module 8 materials by Rod Rejesus and Ted Fietshans can be viewed on website: http://www.ncsu.edu/fvsi/value-added/agents/index.php?section=fresh-produce-safety&page=educational-curriculum&subpage=gaps-certification
Module 9-A: Dealing with Controversies and Crises: Working with the News Media (PPT)
Module 9-B: Dealing with Controversies and Crises: Working with the News Media (PPT)
Supplementary notes and references (PDF)
In the event of an agricultural related controversy or crisis, such as an outbreak of a food-borne illness, it is important to be prepared to communicate with the news media. Fostering good media relations is an ongoing responsibility, not just in times of crisis. Knowing when, why and how to talk to the media is part of the crisis management strategy. Plan and prepare now to better handle controversies and crises in the future.
Module 9-A is directed toward Cooperative Extension agents who have a responsibility to communicate with the news media as representatives of a public institution. In addition to media basics and how to communicate during a crisis, this module includes information on the organization’s crisis communications and issues management plans. These do not pertain to growers. Module A is for agents’ information only. Module 9-B was developed for agents to use in trainings for growers. This provides media basics and how to deal with a crisis, including how to develop key messages and supporting points. Depending on the crisis, it may be advisable for a farmer to seek legal counsel. In the event they decide to grant interviews regarding an outbreak, for which the source has yet to be determined, this module includes videos on how best to respond to the news media and what not to do. Preparation is the key.

University of Minnesota 4 GAPs Training Initiative — Introduction Video are capture and linked for agents use:
Video: Food-borne Illness Outbreak Scenario 1: What NOT to Say
http://www.ncsu.edu/fvsi/value-added/agents/index.php?section=fresh-produce-safety&page=educational-curriculum&subpage=university-of-minnesota-scenario-1
This training video from the University of Minnesota demonstrates how growers should NOT handle the media during a food-borne illness outbreak. A mock media interview with two growers (actors) shows how poor handling of this situation can damage credibility, business and even the industry. The video provides great examples of questions that media ask in real-life scenarios.
Video: Food-borne Illness Outbreak Scenario 2: What TO Say
http://www.ncsu.edu/fvsi/value-added/agents/index.php?section=fresh-produce-safety&page=educational-curriculum&subpage=university-of-minnesota-scenario-2
This training video from the University of Minnesota demonstrates how growers SHOULD handle the media during a food-borne illness outbreak. A mock media interview with two growers (actors) shows how effective handling of this situation can bolster credibility and instill confidence in consumers and the industry. The video provides great examples of questions that media ask in real-life scenarios.

On-line Curriculum Certificate – Within two weeks of participants completing the training requirements for each tier, a Web form is generated to certify completion. In addition to creating the training database, this information will be helpful to the N.C. MarketReady team for reports that must be provided to funding partners. Work remains for these web-based services.

Fresh Produce Safety Curricula Trainings for Agents
Two regional trainings were held across the state in 2009 to facilitate a total of 46 counties and 94 agents being trained on this curriculum. Fresh Produce Safety Curricula Trainings for Agents was scheduled for January and February 2009, but were canceled due to inclement weather. Rescheduled training in Wilson Co. on March 11 & 12 and April 30 & May 1st in Mills River, NC. In addition to the regional trainings, a Webinar Series (Elluminate) was scheduled on Tier 1 of the Curriculum to agents and a select group of growers. This captured 41 additional agents for a total of 135 agents. This webinar series was recorded November 2009 to serve as an on-line coursework/training tool for N.C. Cooperative Extension Agents. Agents are encouraged to review the presentations as they prepare to deliver Tier 1 training to growers. To view the sessions, go to website http://www.ncsu.edu/fvsi/value-added/agents/index.php?section=fresh-produce-safety&page=educational-curriculum , login using your email address and name.

Project evaluation tools for measuring changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and aspirations were developed and employed during the agent trainings. Statistics from these show effective advancements in several areas for this project including improvement in agent knowledge, confidence levels on subject matter, training expectations, and potential audience numbers. Survey data continues to be compiled as trainings continue.

Advisory Meetings
Monthly NC Fresh Produce Safety Task Force meetings with representatives of education, industry, regulatory and growers are all present. In addition, the farmers and agents in the planning advisory group have meet to reference and develop the necessary changes to the curriculum. It was members of this advisory group that recommended the branding and tiered educational approach that the curriculum has advanced in this direction.

Promote knowledge of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Best Management Practices (BMPs) on small farms that sell raw produce directly to consumers.

Invited Seminars/Presentations
2009 Southeastern Apple Growers Meetings, January 6-7, 2009. Asheville, NC
2009 Annual Foothills Fresh Meeting, February 10, 2009. Lincolnton, NC
2009 Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s Marketing Opportunities for Farmers. February 28- Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, NC
16th Annual Organic Growers School March 21 & 22, 2009 Flat Rock, NC
Small Farms Week- Educational Forum: The Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Approach from Farm to Fork, March 24, 2009 Greensboro, NC
Chatham County GAPs for Fresh Produce Safety, April 21, 2009. Pittsboro, NC
On-farm GAPs Audit, May 4, 2009. Carolina Community College Pittsboro, NC
From Farm to Fork: Understanding Food Safety Today. May 12, 2009. Kannapolis, NC
Food Safety Plan Template Workshop. May 18, 2009. Haywood County, NC
Food Safety Plan Template Workshop . May 28, 2009. Haywood County, NC
Small Fruits Field Day. June 4, 2009. Piedmont Research Station, NC
Food Safety Plan Template Workshop. June 18, 2009. Haywood County, NC
3rd Party Educational Mock Audit at Premier Produce- July 22, 2009. Wilson, NC
Family & Consumer Science Agents National Meeting, August 6, 2009. Sophia NC
Annual Joint Meeting of the Food safety and Defense Task Force and the N.C. Fresh Produce Safety Task Force, September 9 & 10, 2009. Raleigh, NC
FDA/USDA Produce Safety Listening Session for NC Small Farms- September 28, 2009. Raleigh, NC
October 20-28, 2009. Watauga County Cooperative Extension Fresh Produce Safety Classes. Boone,
October 27, 2009. NC Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Conference. Raleigh, NC
November 18, 2009. Food Safety from Production to Sales. Goldsboro, NC
November 13, 17, 19, 20, 2009. Webinars (Elluminate) Sessions.
December 2, 2009. 24th Annual Southeast Vegetable & Fruit Expo, Myrtle Beach SC.
21 presentations with audiences of 3496

Invited Agent/NCDA Trainings:
Clemson University Faculity/ SC Extension Agents- May 21 & 22, 2009 in Clemson, SC.
SE Blackberry Agent Training Presentation – August 4 & 5,2009 agents and Extension specialists from six
member universities of the Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium (SRSFC) http://www.smallfruits.org/Newsletter/Vol9-Issue4.pdf
NCDA/NCSU Research Station Training- September 23, 2009. All the NCDA/NCDA research station
superintendants attended this 4 hour meeting to get an introduction to the GAPs curriculum and resources available to them as they investigate the needs for research stations across NC.
3 trainings with 123 participants

Meetings and Trainings will continue through this year to get agents the necessary materials and knowledge for this grant.

Mock Audits: Two mock audits held in July, 2009. At Premier Produce, we had a mock audit with NCDA utilizing the USDA Audit Matrix for field practices. With Patterson Farms, Inc., we utilized Primus for a packinghouse/processing audit. We had a total of 46 participants at the audits. These educational audits allow agents and growers to understand the process of an audit and provide a safe atmosphere questions about the GAPs audit to be addressed. A mock audit will be conducted this summer at a small farming operation to provide the diversity represented by farming operation in NC.

NC Fresh Produce Safety Web Analytics, News and Media, and interviews. (www.ncmarketready.org)
Web Analytics
During 2009, the website has gone through significant additions and changes. Each quarter, website visits indicated at least 14% increases of new and returning visitors and were bolstered with content and media releases. Visits to the site increased due largely to increase knowledge of website presence and the genuine need for resources on the website. This can be attributed due to participation in grower and agent meetings (listed above), the annual Joint Meeting of the Food safety and Defense Task Force and the N.C. Fresh Produce Safety Task Force meeting, national attention from presence at the recent FDA/USDA listening sessions, and finally news media outlet use of news release. The new resource is also mentioned frequently to the N.C. Fresh Produce Safety Task Force, which consists of educators, growers, industry, government and associations. We find that news media attention, trainings and e-mail updates result in an increase in visits to the site. We will continue to inform our many audiences about this new resource. The most utilized pages on the site include the home, grower information, good agricultural practices, audits, task force, postharvest, task force pages. This indicates we are getting the word out to one of our key audiences (growers) about this new resource.

News and Media communications
Newsletters-September-October was on the NC Fresh Produce Safety Program.
News releases/Articles-
April, 2009 was distributed a to the Asheville media market about fresh produce safety trainings and included the Web site address;
September 1, 2009 about Food Safety Month and the efforts of N.C. Cooperative Extension and the
N.C. Fresh Produce Safety Task Force was distributed to more than 1,000 news media outlets and online outlets; News release can be viewed at: http://ncvalueadded.org/pdfs-ppt/Food-Safety-Month-Sept-2009-news-release.pdf
September 9th 2009 Fresh Produce Safety Food Initiatives were covered in the Extension Online
News (NCSU), which can be viewed at http://is.gd/4vRj8
Summer Issue (2009) of Perspectives (NCSU), Fresh Produce Safety was mentioned with 1,238
impressions made from the distribution of this article http://is.gd/4vRHx
October 1st 2009 GloBlueRidge.net out of Boone, NC ran an news story on the NCMR Fresh Produce Safety Training which generated 36,414 impressions, the article can be found at http://is.gd/5sD4c
October 15th the High County Press newspaper out of Boone, NC ran an article on the Fresh Produce Safety Trainings. This article generated 121,380 impressions and can be found at http://is.gd/5xtl2November 9, 2009, “N.C. MarketReady Releases Fresh Produce Safety Training Curriculum” was distributed to more than 1,000 news media outlets and online outlets;
November 13th 2009 the magazine Southeast Farm Press out of Auburn, AL wrote an article about Fresh Produce Safety curriculum which generated 283,708 impressions; http://is.gd/5xuvd
November 10th 2009 the magazine Growing Produce out of Willoughby, Oh wrote an article covering the topic of Fresh Produce Safety curriculum. This article generated 242,759 impressions and can be found at http://is.gd/5roUv
December 28th 2009 the newspaper, The Times-News out of Hendersonville, NC wrote an article featuring the N.C. MarketReady Fresh Produce Safety Training , generating 171,665 impressions. Found at http://is.gd/5Mb8j
Four news releases from Watauga County, West District, Johnston County, and Madison County announce past and upcoming workshops on GAPs.
TV interview
(WLOS) – May 15, 2009 on the NC Fresh Produce Safety Initiative
Radio Interviews
North Carolina Public Radio-WUNC (91.5 FM) Interview aired on December 9, 2009 reaching an audience of 41,000 listeners.

Work will continue to create website, news and media tools for additional resources for agents.

Provide food safety planning and training resources to producers

Fresh Produce Safety Plan Template
This document was developed in workshops with NC growers to provide a framework for them to develop their own food safety plans. Each grower’s conditions are different. This instructional template, “Good Agricultural Practices Fresh Produce Safety Plan for Field Practices” was developed in workshops with North Carolina growers to provide a framework that would help producers shape their own food safety plans, recognizing that each operation is different. The plan template follows the guidance from the Food and Drug Administration’s Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables and incorporates the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Good Agricultural Practices & Good Handling Practices Audit Verification Matrix. The plan is available electronically as a printable guide (pdf) or an editable document (MS Word). To download the plan, please visit the N.C. Fresh Produce Safety Blog: http://ncfreshproducesafety.wordpress.com and click on “Good Agricultural Practices Fresh Produce Safety Plan for Field Practices Template” in the left column.

Direct Market Display Risk Checklist
Working with local farmers markets, a checklist for assessing risk factors and best management practices was developed and given to agents. Agents can use this tool to work with markets vendors attending trainings. For each question, market vendors would indicate their particular risk level in the right-hand column. Although some choices may not correspond exactly to situation, vendors are instructed to choose the response that best fits. In this way, markets begin to look at the chain of conditions that might represent risks for the entire food chain before it gets to consumers. (See Appendix B for document).

Growers toolkits
These have been developed and purchased for distribution to agents and association meetings. The grower’s kit is this is a resource developed to aid growers in starting their food safety programs. The kit includes: Fingernail brush, GlowGerm, Blacklight, Chlorine Strips Kit, pH Test Strips, Nitrile Gloves, Waterproof Thermometer, Handwashing Posters and Toilet Use, Bilingual First Aid Kit and Blood Pathogen Kit.

Website Resources
September is Food Safety Month – A new area of the website was developed to increase the knowledge of growers using GAPs. The first looks at Focus on the Three P’s of Fresh Produce Safety: Producing Fresh Produce, Preventing Cross-Contamination, and Practicing Personal Health & Hygiene. These three areas tie directly into the information created in the curriculum, simplifying information and streamlining growers’ process to get information about GAPS (http://www.ncsu.edu/fvsi/ncfreshproduce/focus-on-the-three-p%27s-of-fresh-produce-safety.html)

Videos/slideshow Produced:
Produce Lady Video – this video outlines food safety tips that growers, farm workers, and farmers markets can use GAPs to minimize risk. This highlights the fresh produce safety trainings that are going on, tips for consumers, post-harvest handling of produce once purchased, and cross-contamination in the home. This video can be seen at: http://ncvalueadded.org/the-produce-lady/videos.php
Managing Liability Risks (Module 8) video was produced, edited, and captioned. Due to the technical area and potential liability to agents in presenting this particular module, we have included this video for both agents and growers to use as a resource in dealing with the liability areas in fresh produce. Additionally, this video will be available on the website for other stakeholders to reference. http://www.ncsu.edu/fvsi/value-added/agents/index.php?section=fresh-produce-safety&page=educational-curriculum&subpage=gaps-certification
Mock Audit slideshow for Website- At the mock audit held in July, pictures and notes were taken to develop a educational resource taking growers through a typical audit on the farm. This script and pictures are displayed on the website as an educational tool to aid farmers: http://www.ncmarketready.org/ncfreshproducesafety/mock-third-party-audit-for-GAPs-certification.html.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Project today has reached over 11,121 participants with education on the N.C. MarketReady Fresh Produce Safety – Field to Family Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Training Initiative. As a result of this project, over 130 Extension Agents across North Carolina moved from a moderate level of knowledge (know about this topic but there are more things to learn) to feeling confident to deliver the fresh produce safety curriculum. More directly, this project has effectively created food safety trainers and provided the knowledge and structure to allow for the broadening of knowledge and tools necessary for adoption by farm operations. By the continued use of collaborative educational opportunities and media outlets, over 41,000 additional participants have gained knowledge of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) that entails the entire food chain starting with the fields and ending with consumers. Reducing risk is essential to food safety, just as understanding the importance of liability is to farmers. Within this project, two Extension publications (last year) along with a supporting video (this year) provide a solid foundation to understanding the complex and changing issues surrounding liability and the associated failure to implementation of risk practices like GAPs. Knowledge is only the first step; resources have been developed to support farmers in implementation of GAPs. Resources like the “Fresh Produce Safety Plan Template”, “Direct Market Display Risk Checklist”, Mock Audit slideshow, and supporting video combine to supply a systematic approach to application and adoption by farmers. These resources are piloted in NC with instructions being developed for larger southeastern region applicability.

Collaborators:

Wayne Bryant

wayne.bryant@ncmail.net
Program Administrator
NCDA & CS
Cooperative Granding Service
3651 Sheppard Mill Road
Stokes, NC 27884
Office Phone: 2527921672
Debbie Hamrick

debbie.hamrick@ncfb.org
Director, Specialty Crops
NC Farm Bureau
2310 Fairview Road
Raleigh, NC 27608
Office Phone: 9193342977
John Rowland

johnrowland@verizon.net
Director
R Farm, Inc
1530 New Stock Road
Weaverville, NC 28787
Office Phone: 8286455440
Charles Edwards

charlesedwards@nashproduce.com
Sales/Market Development
Nash Produce
6160 South N 58
Nashville, NC 27856
Office Phone: 9199715808
Billy Little

billy_little@ncsu.edu
Commercial Horticulture Agent
NC Cooperative Extension
Wilson County Cooperative Extension
1806 S. Goldsboro Street
Wilson, NC 27895
Office Phone: 2522370111
Darrell Blackwelder

darrell_blackwelder@ncsu.edu
Agricultural Extension Agent
NC Cooperative Extension
2727-A Old Concord Road
Salisbury, NC 28146
Office Phone: 7042168981
Christopher Gunter

chris_gunter@ncsu.edu
Vegetable Production Specialist
NCSU
Dept of Horticultural Sciences
230 Kilgore Hall Box 7609
Raleigh, NC 27695
Office Phone: 9195132807
Trevor Phister

trevor_phister@ncsu.edu
Extension Specialist
NCSU
Dept of Food Science
339-B Schaub Hall
Raleigh, NC 27695
Office Phone: 9195131644
Theresa Nartea

tjnartea@ncat.edu
Extension Specialist
NC A&T
Box 21928
Greensboro, NC 27420
Office Phone: 3363347956
Ben Chapman

benjamin_chapman@ncsu.edu
Food Safety Professor
NCSU
120 Brickhaven
Raleigh, NC 28085
Office Phone: 9195158099
Jeremy Hudson

jihudso2@yahoo.com
Director
Jophn Hudson Farms, Inc
553. Rosin Hill Road
Newton Grove, NC 28366
Office Phone: 9105672253
Keith Baldwin

kbaldwin@ncat.edu
Program Leader A & Nat. Resourses/Comm. & Rural De
NC A&T
P.O. Box 21928
Greensboro, NC 27420
Office Phone: 3363347957
Theodor Feitshans

ted_feitshans@ncsu.edu
Extension Specialist
NCSU
Dept of Agricultural and Resource Economics
3340 Nelson Hall
Raleigh, NC 27695
Office Phone: 9195155195
Doug Patterson

doug@pattersonfarminc.com
Director
Patterson Farms, Inc
Office and Packing House
3060 Millbridge Road
China Grove, NC 28023
Office Phone: 7048545242