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Local, Regional & Safe Foods Newsletters

Our Extension team posts timely content for Arkansas producers and food business owners.

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Microgreens Project, Produce Safety Training and Webinars

October 12, 2020

Do you grow microgreens? Let us know so that we can do the food safety research that you need! Also, don't miss the training you need! Do you grow produce? Join a Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training. Do you want to make a food product to sell? Join one of the upcoming food business webinars.

Topics in this issue:

  • Microgreens food safety research
  • Upcoming PSA Grower Training opportunities
  • Upcoming webinars
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Produce Safety Training and Food Production Webinars

September 29, 2020

Don't miss the training you need! Do you grow produce? Join a Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training. Do you want to make a food product to sell? Join one of the upcoming food business webinars.

Topics in this issue:

  • Fall/Winter remote PSA Grower Training schedule
  • Value-added food production webinars
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🍂Fall/Winter PSA Grower Training Schedule ❄

September 10, 2020

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule affects all fruit and vegetable growers. Attend a remote PSA Grower Training for information about best practices, risk management and regulatory requirements. 

Topics in this issue:

  • Fall/Winter remote PSA Grower Training schedule
  • FDA Produce Safety updates
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🌀Hurricane Laura ⛈

August 27, 2020

Hurricane Laura, a dangerous Category 4 storm, hit the Southeast and Gulf Coast of the United States early Thursday morning 08/27/2020, bringing strong winds and heavy rain. As it moves into Arkansas, flash flooding is expected. Produce growers are likely to have their fields flooded and their produce contaminated rendering it unsafe for human consumption. See our guidance document for best practices.

Topics in this issue:

  • New guidance document on flooded produce fields
 

Stay Safe on the Farm this Fall 🍂

August 20, 2020

Each fall, many farms host a variety of season-specific activities including corn mazes, wagon rides, and pumpkin patches. These activities are beloved by Arkansans and also generate a large percentage of annual income for farms. The coronavirus has caused some hesitation, yet with preparation farms can remain open while managing risk. Check out our resource for guidance on how to operate safely this season!

Topics in this issue:

  • Fall Farm Activity Guidelines & COVID-19 Resource
  • Remote PSA Grower Training for September 2020

Virtual Training, Conversation, Listening Session, & Focus Groups

July 30, 2020

Many virtual opportunities to receive and provide information on produce safety and local foods. Check out this issue to learn more!

Topics in this issue:

  • Remote PSA Grower Training for August 2020 - LAST CALL TO REGISTER!
  • Adapting and Responding to COVID-19: A Conversation with Community Leaders
  • USDA Crop Insurance Listening Session
  • National Young Farmers Coalition Food Safety Farmer Focus Groups

Remote PSA Grower Training Opportunity

July 9, 2020

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule affects all fruit and vegetable growers. Attend the next remote PSA Grower Training for information about best practices, risk management and regulatory requirements. This training will be from 8:00 am - 12:30 pm on August 24th and 25th, 2020. 

Topics in this issue:

  • Remote PSA Grower Training for August 2020
  • Local Foods Open Space Discussion - Fall Activities & Events Amidst COVID-19
  • Produce Safety Spotlight - Produce Contamination: How does it happen and how can it be prevented? 
  • FDA Temporary Policy Regarding Qualified Exemptions from the FSMA Produce Safety Rule
  • The Share Grounds Kitchen are Open!

On-Farm Readiness Reviews are Resuming!

June 22, 2020

FDA lifted face-to-face meeting restrictions as of June 5th, so On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRRs) and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule inspections have started up again. Read on for more information!

Topics in this issue:

  • On-Farm Readiness Reviews
  • Local Foods Open Space Discussion
  • Agricultural Employer Checklist for Creating a COVID-19 Assessment and Control Plan
  • Farm to Freezer Webinar
  • Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center

Paid Opportunity for Food Safety Farmer Focus Groups

June 3, 2020

To learn more about how produce farmers are integrating food safety practices on the farms, the National Young Farmers Coalition is hosting online food safety focus groups. Each hour-long virtual focus group will feature a farmer co-facilitator discussing their operation and 8-10 farmers asking the lead farmer questions and sharing their own experience with the topic. Focus groups are open to farmers of all ages!

Topics in this issue:

  • Food Safety Farmer Focus Groups
  • CDC COVID-19 Guidance for Agricultural Workers and Employers

Mentored Food Business Startup Program Application Extension

May 28, 2020

If you participated in the Creating Your Small Food Business at the Share Grounds Certified Kitchen webinar last week, you are eligible to apply for the one-on-one mentored start-up assistance program. Applications are now due by close of business on Thursday, June 4th.

Topics in this issue:

  • Food Business Mentoring Program Deadline Extension
  • Produce Safety Spotlight
  • Local Foods Open Space Community Discussion
  • CFAP Applications Open

Farmers Market Sales Restrictions Lifted 

May 21, 2020

The Arkansas Department of Health has lifted restrictions on the types of products that may be sold at Farmers Markets. Read more on the guidance from ADH.

Topics in this issue:

  • Farmers Market Guidance Update
  • Last call for Creating Food Processing Businesses in Arkansas Webinar
  • Welcome our news team member: Dr. Natacha Cureau
  • Local Foods Open Space Discussion - SNAP Benefit Expansion, Local Food Access and School Nutrition
  • Webinar Opportunities
  • COVID-19 Article: The Risks - Know Them - Avoid Them

Creating Food Processing Businesses in Arkansas Webinar 

May 14, 2020

Don't miss this opportunity to learn how to start your own food processing business in Arkansas! 

Topics in this issue:

  • Creating Food Processing Businesses in Arkansas Webinar
  • Local Foods Open Space Discussion - SNAP Benefit Expansion, Local Food Access and School Nutrition
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance
  • Heifer Ranch Field Trip
  • Webinar Opportunities 

Farmers Market Response to COVID-19 

May 7, 2020

COVID-19 has changed the way we do almost everything. Farmers Markets are having to shift how they do business. Learn about the changes many markets are making.

Topics in this issue:

  • Local Foods Open Space Discussion - Farmers Market Response During COVID-19
  • Produce Safety Spotlight - Farm Labor During the COVID-19 Pandemic 
  • Creating Food Processing Businesses in Arkansas Webinar
  • Meat Processing Laws in the US
  • Clinton School Speaker Series
  • COVID-19 resources

Taking Your Business Online and Safe Delivery Methods 

April 22, 2020

COVID-19 has changed the way we do almost everything. Learn about how to move your food business online and to deliver food to our customers in a safe fashion. 

Topics in this issue:

  • Local Foods Open Space Discussion - Taking your Business Online
  • New FSMA Produce Safety Rule Inflation Adjusted Cutoffs
  • Webinar opportunities
  • COVID-19 resources

Local, Regional and Safe Foods Updates 

April 16, 2020

COVID-19 has changed the way we do almost everything. Stay up-to-date on best practices for managing your farm or food business.

Topics in this issue:

  • Network Conversations - Produce Safety in School Gardens
  • Remote Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training
  • Webinar opportunities
  • Audit and Inspection Updates
  • COVID-19 resources

Produce Safety and Local Foods Updates 

April 8, 2020

On-farm food safety practices are vital in the produce industry, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay up-to-date on best practices for managing your farm or food business.

Topics in this issue:

  • Online produce safety training
  • Local foods open space discussion
  • Webinar opportunities
  • How to become a Share Grounds client
  • COVID-19 resources

Helping Food Businesses Navigate the Times 

April 2, 2020


While many businesses are closing there doors during the COVID-19 pandemic, the food industry is critical to the well being of all citizens. These resources will help you navigate the challenges to your business.

Topics in this issue:

  • COVID-19 response
  • Local Foods resources
  • Farmers market update
  • Share Grounds update
  • Webinar opportunity
  • COVID-19 resources

 

 

 

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