GAP training for English/Spanish growers June 17-18, 2016

A second training is offered to prepare bilingual (English/Spanish) berry growers for third party Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audits under the new Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety rule.

Michigan State University Extension is offering another Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) training June 17-18, 2016, at the Trevor Nichols Research Center, 6237 124th Avenue, Fennville, MI 49408. This workshop will offer GAP training expressed by blueberry growers interested in updating their GAP program to be in compliance with the FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) Product Safety rule. This training will be bilingual (English/Spanish) with presentations in English and training notes in Spanish and English. Assistance in Spanish will be provided during the training, especially during the hands-on sessions.

On June 3-4, MSU Extension and the Michigan Food and Farming Systems conducted the first GAP workshop for Latino blueberry growers. It was attended by 20 growers. On the first day, we reviewed the GAP main topics related to blueberry production. On the second day, we reviewed the risk assessment procedures and visited several farms to practice the risk assessment procedures. Participants also received a format to start developing their GAP manual. For growers that attended this first training, there will be a follow-up on June 18 to assist with the development of their GAP manuals.

The agenda for the June 17-18 meeting is below, or view this flier in Spanish for more information.

Friday, June 17, 1-4 p.m. – Classroom session:

  • Introduction to GAP to minimize food safety issues
  • Blueberry pre- and post-harvest microbial contamination
  • Worker health and hygiene
  • Field sanitation
  • Water quality

Saturday, June 18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Hands-on training:

  • USDA checklist – GAP MDA
  • How to develop your own food safety manual
  • How to conduct a risk assessment prior to a third party audit

At the hands-on segment, trainees will develop their food safety manuals with information they may bring to the classroom. Also, they will conduct a risk assessment at a nearby farm using their food safety manuals and with the assistance of the MSU Extension instructors. After training, we will follow up with help for growers that may need further assistance to conduct the farm risk assessment and assistance to develop their food safety manuals.

Berry growers in Kent, Ottawa, Allegan, Van Buren and other neighboring counties are encouraged to attend this training. Growers and farmworkers participating in this training will receive a certificate of completion of training. There will be a recuperation fee of $30 per participant that will cover materials, refreshments and lunches. For growers attending the follow- up session on June 18, the recuperation fee will be $15 per participant.

Pre-registration is required to estimate the number of handouts and lunch. To register, please contact Mary Frein at the MSU Extension Ottawa County office at 616-994-4580 or email You may also contact Filiberto Villa at 269-830-2309 or

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