The Nevada Department of Agriculture and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension are now offering free Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) training and certification to interested Nevada farmers. GAP certification helps agriculture operations reduce food safety risks through the use of sound agriculture and good handling practices.
This training and certification provides Nevada farmers a proactive step to ensure they follow industry set standards. Becoming GAP certified also helps guarantee customer safety and is a beneficial marketing tool for operations looking to sell to retail outlets and compete with out-of-state farms.
Training is available through the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Participants learn how to implement and create a produce safety plan specific to their individual business or company. The Department is seeking interested farming operations to participate in a GAP training tentatively planned for fall 2014.
In addition to training, the Department of Agriculture is offering free mock audits to interested farmers to determine audit scoring prior to an official audit. Training, mock audits and certification are available to farmers interested in participating in the GAP program until September 2015.
“In an effort to strengthen Nevada’s produce industry, our department is providing tools and resources needed by producers to meet industry based standards,” said Katie Jameson, the Department’s Farmer Assistance Program coordinator. “This program is a great resource to farmers especially because they can receive training and complete the certification for free.”
All Nevada farmers growing and selling fresh fruits and vegetables can participate in the free GAP program. Interested individuals can contact Katie Jameson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about training, certification and free mock audits.
Visit http://agri.nv.gov/GAP/ for more information about the Good Agriculture Practices program.