UMN Extension GAPs Education Program

The University of Minnesota Extension On-farm GAPs Education Program provides education, outreach and technical support to fruit and vegetable growers through GAP workshops and mock audits, research relating to GAPs, especially as they impact small growers and immigrant and minority growers, and communication and collaboration with many agricultural partner organizations and government entities to help promote information-sharing regarding GAPs and farm safety.

We are here to help you with farm food safety questions

If you are a fruit and vegetable grower and need assitance with food safety questions and practices on your farm, please contact us at safety@umn.edu or 612-625-1951. We can:

  • Review food safety plans and help you prepare for a GAP audit if you need one
  • Answer questions about on-farm food safety questions such as well-water testing, handwashing and portable handwash stands, manure and soil amendments, wild and domestic animals on the farm, packsheds and tool and equipment sanitation, pest control, worker training, and recordkeeping
  • Answer questions about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the Produce Safety Rule


Upcoming Conference Sessions: 

Minnesota Organic Conference: Jan 11-12, 2018 St. Cloud MN. To register and for more info
Session: Friday, January 12th 2:00 - 3:00 pm. Food Safety, FSMA, GAP Audits, oh my! An update on farm food safety and resources available to you

Upper Midwest Regional Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association conference Jan 18th - 19th 2018, St. Cloud, MN. To register and for more info
Session: Friday, January 19th 3:45 pm. GAPs, FSMA and Food Safety: What you need to know

Emerging Farmers Conference Jan 26th - 27th, 2018, St. Paul, MN. To register and for more info
Session: Saturday, Jan 27th. Food safety means healthy and safe: what you need to know to sell to wholesale produce buyers

MOSES Organic Farming Conference, Feb 22nd - 24th, 2018, La Crosse, WI. To register and for more info
Organic University Session: Feb 22nd, 10:00 - 5:30 Food Safety, FSMA and GAP for Veggies
Session: Friday, Feb 23rd 10:30 - 12: 00. Food Safety from Field to Packshed


Upcoming FSMA Grower Workshops

Jan 17, 2018. Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training course. 8:30 - 5:00 River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, MN.  To register and for more information: Click Here

March 20, 2018Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training course. 8:30 - 5:00 Monticello Community Center in Monticello, MN.  To register and for more information: Click Here

What is the course? The Produce Safety Alliance (PSA), a national group based at Cornell University, has developed this course to fulfill that requirement of the Rule (outlined in §112.22(c) of the Produce Safety Rule). But all farms, including those that are exempt and qualified exempt from the full Rule, are encouraged to take this course to understand Good Agricultural Practices and the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. University of Minnesota Extension will also continue to host general introduction to GAPs workshops and field days throughout 2018, but the PSA FSMA course is the only course that is currently recognized by the FDA to fulfill the training requirement in the Produce Safety Rule.

Who are the trainers? These courses will be co-led by PSA staff, MDA Produce Safety Program staff, UMN Extension staff, and trained fruit and vegetable farmers. There will be more PSA FSMA grower trainings in the future in other parts of the state. 

Cornell On-line GAPs course

The GAPs Online Produce Safety Course from Cornell University offers an online overview of GAPs and produce safety on the farm. The next course will be offered Nov 29 - Dec 19 2017. The cost is $190 per participant and typically takes 15-25 hours to complete. We have grant funds to pay for the course fee for a limited number of participants. Email safety@umn.edu for more information. (We will likely not have these funds available next year, so take advantage of this offer now!)

This is a fully-online course that provides a good foundation to understanding GAPs. Taking this course will not result in your farm being “GAPs Certified”. GAPs certification is done by a third party (e.g. USDA, Primus, Global GAP) and involves the successful completion of an on-farm audit.

When registering for the course you will be asked to enter a Group Number. Enter G000107 (those are all zeros). To register: www.ecornell.com/gaps. For more information Read This or email Don Stoeckel at dstoeckel@cornell.edu.


Fact Sheets

Check them out! Simple color Food Safety Fact Sheets on the most popular farm food safety related questions (pdf): 

and, Farm Safety Briefs:

image of handwashing flyer