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This time of year the ALEI legal specialists and our colleagues from the University of Maryland Extension are busy both providing education and seeking input from our farmer stakeholders about future educational resources. This post will feature two surveys currently being circulated to the farm community to garner information and feedback on farmworker training and food safety. If you have a few moments, please consider completing the surveys and giving us your feedback.
Farm Worker & Volunteer Training
The University of Maryland Extension (Angela Ferelli-Gruber, Ph.D. and Shauna Henley, Ph.D) has created a survey to seek input from farmworkers about their experiences and training needs at work. The survey results will guide the creation of educational resources and training materials for small and medium-size farms in Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic, and nationally. UME's goal for this project is to improve worker and volunteer training for efficiency, retention, and safety. Respondents should be workers from the 2021 season, who worked on a farm that grew fruit and vegetables, are 18 years of age or older, and are able to speak English. The survey will close on March 14, 2022. Anyone with questions about the worker training survey can contact Dr. Henley at email@example.com.
Food Safety Implementation Resources
In late 2021, ALEI legal specialists and the Maryland Food Safety Network (MFSN) worked with the FDA to get a Produce Safety Rule (PSR) Compliance Resource Kit project approved. The project involves the creation and distribution of PSR compliance resources tailored to farming operations. The MFSN helps organize and hosts PSR Grower trainings every year to present the operational requirements, and understands that starting and tracking implementation of numerous PSR practices can be overwhelming. Our goal is to give farmers the precise information they need to comply and training materials appropriate for training personnel engaged in those operations. In order to know what types of resources farmers need, we are asking farmers to complete this form. Anyone with questions about the resource kit request form can contact Sarah Everhart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from Maryland farmers!