Food safety on the farm is good business!

We are here to help you with farm food safety questions

If you are a fruit and vegetable grower and need assistance with food safety questions and practices on your farm, please contact us at 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 FSMA Grower Workshops

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! The FSMA Grower Training Course schedule is aviailable and registration is open. These courses will fill up, so sign up now. These trainings are co-hosted by the University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota Department of Agriculture Produce Safety Program.

Dates for 2018-19 FSMA trainings

To register for the trainings and for more information: Trainings cost $25/person per person.

Why take the FSMA Training Course? Participating in this one-day course fulfills the training requirement in the FSMA Produce Safety 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. It is a great overview of critical topics that are becoming even more important to the fresh produce industry. If you would like to get a GAP audit at some point on your product to sell to a wholesale market, it will be very helpful to understand these concepts and how to write food safety plans.

University of Minnesota Extension will also continue to host general introduction to GAPs workshops and field days throughout 2018-19, but this PSA FSMA course is the only course that is currently recognized by the FDA to fulfill the training requirement in the Produce Safety Rule.

The certificate you will receive is good for life, and follows the person, even if they move to a different farm. Also, GAP audits are not required by FSMA, and having a GAP audit does not replace the need to attend this FSMA training, if you are covered by the Produce Safety Rule. (For more information on the Rule, see the FSMA tab on this page.)

Who are the trainers? These courses will be co-led by MDA Produce Safety Program staff, UMN Extension staff, and trained fruit and vegetable farmers. Your trainers are very well versed in GAPs and practical, effective and useful tips for implementing food safety on your farm.


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 courses will be offered August 1st - 21st, October 10th-30th and November 28th - Dec 18th. The cost is $225 per participant and typically takes 15-25 hours to complete. 

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. To register: For more information Read This or email Don Stoeckel at