Released March 17, 2009
BROOKINGS, S.D. -- A South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service Web site offers online training in food safety and marketing strategies for foods that are grown and marketed locally.
The site is available to the general public. Find more information online at a South Dakota State University Web site, http://extfcs.sdstate.edu/foodsafetysite/onLineTraining/.
South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service Food Safety Specialist Joan Hegerfeld-Baker said the training is a self-paced study that provides content along with follow-up questions to assess what participants have learned. The course consists of several short and concise lessons incorporated into two modules. One module addresses critical safe food handling practices from planting to market, and the other concentrates on the organization of a farmers market.
Anyone interested in learning more about safely growing, producing and harvesting fruits and vegetables and organizing local farmers markets can benefit from the information, SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist Rhoda Burrows said. Producers will increase their knowledge of food safety risks, sanitation practices and regulations associated with direct-marketed specialty foods. They will also learn more about establishing and organizing a community farmers market.
The Marketing Strategies portion of the training will assist farmers markets in developing an organizational framework. Having an organized approach will aid in communication, assessing needs, policy setting, and the overall success of the market, said Karla Trautman, South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service specialist in leadership development and civic engagement.
Several growers have already completed the on-line training or used a CD-ROM that is available through county Extension offices. Or contact Joan Hegerfeld-Baker by phone at (605) 688-6233, or by e-mail at email@example.com. One benefit of participating in the online version is that it provides additional links to supporting materials that may be useful in organizing a farmers market. Once participants have registered at the Web site listed above, they will wait one to five days to receive log-on information. Participants then have three months to complete the training.
This program was originally developed through a USDA Integrated Food Safety Grant.
Contact: Lance Nixon, (605) 688-4653, Lance.Nixon@sdstate.edu