PSA Grower Training

Alongside the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, Clemson Extension will be hosting Grower Training Courses. The Grower Training Course was developed by the Produce Safety Alliance at Cornell University, so that farms will be able to comply with the new requirements outlined in the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA). Contained in FSMA is the Final Rule on Produce Safety. This rule establishes unprecedented, science-based standards for the farming of fruits and vegetables that are intended for human consumption. 

In order to comply with the Final Rule on Produce Safety, "at least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration," (FDA).

What to Expect When Attending Grower Training

Instruction will last around 7 hours and will cover seven modules:

  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
  • Soil Amendments
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II Postharvest Water)
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

There will be time alotted for questions as well as sharing experiences related to produce safety during the course, so please come prepared with your experiences and any questions you may have. 

Participants of this course will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies completion of the course. 

Compliance with Final Rule on Produce Safety

All farms are required to follow the guidelines within the Produce Safety Rule as well as have at least one supervisor or responsible party of the farm. By attending and completing the Grower Training course you will learn how to comply with the regulations, and will also be complying with the requirement to have a supervisor with approved produce safety training. Farms of different sizes will have different compliance dates, which are generally outlined here:

  • Very small businesses, those with more than $25,000 but no more than $250,000 in average annual produce sales during the previous three year period : January 27, 2020
  • Small businesses, those with more than $250,000 but no more than $500,000 in average annual produce sales during the previous three year period: January 28, 2019
  • All other farms: January 26, 2018

For more in depth information about compliance dates, click here.