The National Young Farmers Coalition offers in-person workshops across the country to help young and beginning farmers navigate business challenges and opportunities.
Food Safety Farmer Focus Groups
Thank you for your interest in our Food Safety Farmer Focus Groups! Throughout the summer we will be hosting a series of focus groups with farmers to discuss on-farm produce safety practices and how they can be integrated into your farming operations. Each focus group will have a specific topic to narrow the conversation and bring farmers together with similar experiences, such as (but not limited to!) Worker & Volunteer Training, CSA/Farmshare Distribution, Hydroponics, Making SOPs that Work for Your Farm, Creating a Culture of Produce Safety on Farm, Scaling Up Produce Safety Practices with Your Farm Operation, Developing a Farm Food Safety Plan using the Young Farmers Guidebook, etc. Below, in our “Upcoming Focus Groups” dropdown menu, is a list of the scheduled focus groups, each of which has a corresponding topic and sign-up form. We ask that you sign up for the topic that is most relevant to you at this time. Topics will be added as we find farmer co-facilitators, so make sure to check back if you don’t see one that works for you. If you do not see a topic that you want to discuss or know a farmer who would be a great co-facilitator, please fill out this short survey.
Through questions on the sign-up form, participants will be chosen based on whether or not they have relevant experience to the topic of the focus group, have some knowledge about produce safety risks and practices, and are part of the decision-making process on-farm. We will notify the farmers who have been chosen to participate and will do our best to place everyone. If chosen, participants will be asked to be on an hour-long Zoom call, complete a follow-up evaluation, and submit a W-9. Once those steps are completed, participants will receive a $50 stipend and a copy of our food safety guidebook: A Small Farmer’s Practical Guide to Food Safety.
If these topics are not in your wheelhouse or if you’re not in a long-term management role, we have lots of other food safety resources for you. Check out our produce safety resource library now and check back for the audio recording of these focus groups.
Disclaimer: Each focus group will be recorded and edited down to create an audio file that is available on our website so any farmer can listen. Your consent to be recorded will be required to participate
Topic: Food Safety for Urban Produce Aggregation and Distribution Farmer facilitator: Raqueeb Bey, Black Urban Gardeners & Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-op (BUGS-FPC), PA
August 26, 2020 (3 pm PT / 6 pm ET)
Topic: Produce Safety Misconceptions Farmer Facilitator: Damian Valdez, CA
August 24, 2020 (1 pm PT / 4 pm ET)
Topic: Developing a Farm Food Safety Plan using the Young Farmers Guidebook Farmer Facilitator: Mariah Foley, Rockbottom Ranch, CO
August 13, 2020; 1 pm PT / 4 pm ET
Topic: Lean & Clean (Produce Safety when Applying Lean Farming Concepts) Farmer Facilitator: Ellen Polishuk, Plant to Profit, MD
August 11, 2020; 1:30 pm PT / 4:30 pm ET
Topic: Produce Safety for Educational Farms
Farmer Facilitator: Paul Krysik, Windy City Harvest, IL
August 6, 2020; 2 pm PT / 5 pm ET
Topic: Produce Safety Building Blocks in Year 1 Farmer Facilitator: Oscar Chavez, Microledon Farm, SC
August 4, 2020; 2 pm PT / 5 pm ET
Topic: Creating a Culture of Produce Safety on Your Farm Farmer Facilitator: Roberto Meza, Emerald Gardens Microgreens, CO
July 27, 2020; 2 pm PT / 5 pm ET
Topic: Scaling Up Produce Safety Practices with Your Farm Operation Farmer Facilitator: Scott Chang-Fleeman, Shao Shan Farm, CA
July 23, 2020; 1 pm PT / 4 pm ET
Topic: Making SOPs that Work for Your Farm
Farmer Facilitator: Josh Hardin, Southern Grown, AR
July 13, 2020; 1 pm PT / 4:00 pm ET
Topic: Produce Safety for Hydroponic & Aquaponic Operations
Farmer Facilitator: Sarah Ann Horton, Square Roots, NY
July 9, 2020; 10 am PT / 1 pm ET
Topic: Produce Safety for Urban Farms
Farmer Facilitator: Germaine Jenkins, Fresh Future Farm, SC
July 8, 2020; 1 pm PT / 4 pm ET
Topic: Produce Safety for Farm to School
Farmer Facilitator: Sarah Simon, Maine Farmland Trust (formerly Common Ground Farm in NY)
June 23, 2020; 1 pm PT / 4 pm ET
Topic: Managing Produce Safety Risks Associated with Rotating Livestock through Produce Fields
Farmer Facilitator: Harrison Topp, Topp Fruits, LLC, CO
June 17, 2020; 1:30 pm PT / 4:30 pm ET
Topic: CSA/Farmshare Distribution during COVID-19
Farmer Facilitator: Annie Moore and Cheryl Nunes, River Queen Greens, LA
June 12, 2020; 12 pm PT/ 3 pm ET
Topic: Worker Training & Produce Safety
Farmer Facilitator: Jenny Jackson, Jenny Jack Farm, GA
June 10, 2020; 7:30 pm ET
Topic: CSA/Farmshare Distribution during COVID-19
Farmer Facilitator: D. Rooney, Rock Steady Farm and Flowers, NY
Produce Safety Trainings
The National Young Farmers Coalition, in partnership with the National Farmers Union, offers trainings across the country to help familiarize young and beginning farmers with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). As of 2018, all fruit and vegetable producers are subject to Produce Safety Rule (PSR) regulations.
All non-exempt farms are required to have at least one owner or managerial staff member on site who has attended an approved FSMA PSR training such as these ones. Even exempt farms are required to keep certain records related to their exemption, which are covered as part of our trainings. And, regardless of your scale, everyone can benefit from learning about food safety practices on the farm! The Coalition is happy to be able to subsidize these workshops for young and beginning farmers. Snacks, lunch, and beverages are provided at all trainings. If you are interested in hosting a produce safety training on your farm, please contact Business Services Director Cara Fraver at firstname.lastname@example.org.