$20 – $175

Charleston Integrated Grower & Train-the-Trainer Course

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USDA Vegetable Laboratory

2700 Savannah Highway

Charleston, SC 29414

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The PSA Integrated Training combines both the PSA Grower Training and the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course. This integration was developed to provide options for areas of the country that may have some growers that need training and some trainers that need training, but neither group is large enough to warrant a single training focus. In addition, trainers who are new to the area of produce safety have expressed an interest in seeing how the modules are presented to growers. One benefit to an integrated training is that trainers will be able to participate in the PSA Grower Training Course on Day 1 and learn from the questions grower participants ask. Trainers will then have the opportunity to ask more in-depth questions on Day 2 to help prepare them to deliver the PSA Grower Training Course.

Who Should Attend

Both produce growers and those interested in becoming PSA Trainers should attend the integrated course. Day 1 is the full PSA Grower Training Course for fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety. Attending Day 1 of the course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’

Produce safety educators and others who work with fruit and vegetable growers who are interested in becoming PSA Trainers or PSA Lead Trainers will need to attend both Day 1 & 2. Day 2 will include additional presentations to ensure trainers are ready to deliver the modules to growers. Those who become a PSA Trainer or PSA Lead Trainer are able to offer the PSA standardized curriculum to train fresh produce growers to meet the regulatory requirements in the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. This curriculum was developed through a nationwide collaboration including produce growers, extension educators, researchers, produce industry representatives, and government personnel.

What to Expect at the PSA Integrated Grower & Train-the-Trainer Course

Day 1 - March 21st: Growers and Trainers

The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time to cover content contained in these seven modules:

  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training;
  • Soil Amendments
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water)
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

Day 2 - March 22nd: Trainers Only

Day 2 will include a review and in-depth discussion of the seven modules presented on Day 1 in the PSA Grower Training curriculum. Other trainer-specific topics include principles of adult education, how to incorporate the PSA curriculum into other extension trainings, how to develop working partnerships, expectations for trainers, and how to register a PSA Grower Training Course with the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO).

Benefits of Attending the Course

The course will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management information, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. Individuals who participate in Day 1 of this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of:

  • Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm
  • How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm
  • Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one
  • Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them

After attending Day 1, participants will be eligible to receive a Certificate of Course Attendance from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have attended the PSA Grower Training Course.

Trainers must be present for both days in order to be eligible to receive the Certificate of Course Attendance for the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course. Some trainers, who are also growers themselves, may want to receive the PSA Grower Training Course Certificate of Attendance in addition to the PSA Train-the-Trainer Course Certificate of Attendance. This is allowable since the trainer attended Day 1, but the trainer will need to pay AFDO for the additional certificate.

Upon successful completion of the full, two-day PSA Integrated Grower & Train-the-Trainer Course, attendees will be considered PSA Trainers. Completing this training allows trainers to deliver curriculum modules as a trainer in a PSA Grower Training, under the direction of a PSA Lead Trainer. Every PSA Grower Training must have at least one PSA Lead Trainer present. Anyone presenting at a PSA Grower Training must be, at minimum, a PSA Trainer.

For further clarification about how to become a PSA Trainer or PSA Lead Trainer, please visit the Produce Safety Alliance website.

Costs to Attend

Total costs to attend the PSA Integrated Grower & Train-the-Trainer Course will vary. For individuals only interested in receiving the PSA Grower Training Course Certificate of Attendance (Day 1), set costs include PSA Grower Training Manuals ($50) and the PSA Grower Certificate of Course Attendance from AFDO ($35). Costs for individuals wanting to become PSA Trainers (must attend both Day 1 and Day 2) include the PSA Train-the-Trainer Manual ($75) and the PSA Train-the-Trainer Certificate of Course Attendance ($50). Trainers do not need to purchase both training manuals – the Train-the-Trainer Manuals include the same materials as the Grower Training Course Manuals, plus additional information specific to trainers. All other training costs, such as the cost of the venue and meals, will vary depending on location, food costs, travel costs, and availability of funding to reduce training costs.

Additional Information

**Course will be cancelled if we do not have a minimum of 15 attendees, 10 of those must be growers.**

For more information about scheduled training courses, please visit the PSA website at http://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu. For any other questions or to reach the Produce Safety Alliance, please contact:

Kristin Woods, Ph.D.

Produce Safety Alliance, Southeastern Regional Extension Associate

woodskl@aces.edu, 251-753-1164

Michele Humiston

Produce Safety Alliance Extension Aide
mmc15@cornell.edu, 315-787-2287

Gretchen Wall, M.S.
Produce Safety Alliance Coordinator
glw53@cornell.edu, 607-255-6806

Elizabeth Bihn, Ph.D.

Produce Safety Alliance Director

eab38@cornell.edu, 315-787-2625

**Funding for this statement, publication, press release, etc. was made possible in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through grant PAR-16-137. The views expressed in written materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the United States.**


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USDA Vegetable Laboratory

2700 Savannah Highway

Charleston, SC 29414

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