A Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) class has been planned for Hardin County. GAPs classes are training sessions for fruit and vegetable producers taught by personnel from Ohio State University’s Fruit and Vegetable Safety Program. The February 10 program will be from 9:00 am-12:00 noon at the Scioto Valley Produce Auction, 18715 County Road 200, Mt. Victory. The GAPs class is open to all fruit and vegetable producers and will be presented without technology. Attending an OSU GAPs class does not equate to being ‘GAPs Certified.
“This year’s program is very similar to the 2014 program,” said Lindsey Hoover, the program’s coordinator. The program is a combined effort of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the outreach and research arms of the university’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
New this year is information on the Proposed Supplemental Rule in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, which is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register in October, Hoover said. The proposal includes revisions in what will be required for water quality and testing, manure and compost application, and wildlife intrusion. The revisions are still in the proposal stage and are subject to further change, Hoover said, but participants will learn the newest information available at the time of the classes.
Classes typically run 2.5 to three hours, Hoover said. Participants will receive a three-ring binder with Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) templates and record-keeping templates, presentation handouts, and a certificate of participation.
Sessions are $20 per person, a discounted fee made possible through a grant from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. More sessions may be scheduled, but the funding that subsidizes registration fee expires in June. To register for a class and to see an updated schedule, go to “Upcoming Events” at producesafety.osu.edu, where registration forms can be downloaded. Interested participants can also obtain a local class registration form from the Hardin County Extension office, located at 1021 W Lima Street, Suite 103 in Kenton.
For more information about OSU Extension, Hardin County visit the the Hardin County OSU Extension Facebook page or contact Mark Badertscher, at 419-674-2297.