MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will host several required food safety trainings for Wisconsin produce growers as part of federal produce safety rules. To determine if your produce farm needs to participate, use DATCP’s online tool or “Is my farm covered by the new Federal produce safety rules?” fact sheet. The produce safety rules are part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act.
Based on the amount of produce sales determines when the training must be completed. Growers with produce sales annually of:
- More than $500,000 must complete training prior to this year’s growing season.
- $250,000-$500,000 must complete training before the 2019 growing season.
- Less than $250,000 must complete training before the 2020 growing season.
At least one supervisor or other responsible person from the farm must complete the training. Farms eligible for a qualified exemption or an exemption are not required to take the training. More information about exemptions can be found on the DATCP website.
Trainings are being offered on the following dates:
- Tuesday, April 3: Neville Public Museum, 210 Museum Place, Green Bay
- Thursday, April 12: West Madison Agricultural Station, 8502 Mineral Point Road, Verona
- Tuesday, April 17: Clarion Hotel Northwoods Ballroom, 2703 Craig Road, Eau Claire
For growers who do not need to complete training until 2019 and 2020, additional trainings will be provided in the future.
Classes will run 8 a.m.-5 p.m., with check-in from 7:30-8 a.m. Cost is $60 per person and includes lunch. To register, email [email protected] or call (608) 224-4511. Instructors from DATCP, University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison, UW-Extension, and industry and farmer organizations will cover use of manure as soil amendments; contact with domesticated and wild animals; worker training; health and hygiene; equipment, tools, and buildings; water; and food safety plans.
Wisconsin ranks 11th in the nation in number of produce farms, and second in number of organic produce farms. There are an estimated 1,100 Wisconsin farms that will need to meet the federal produce safety rules.