University of Vermont

Agritourism Workshop Explores Food Safety on Farms

Farmstand

East Thetford--Cedar Circle Farm in East Thetford will host an afternoon workshop on Aug. 9 for farmers and agricultural service providers who want to learn about food safety regulations and best practices for farms that sell or serve food to the public.

Anyone who operates a farm stand, pick-your-own (PYO) or community-supported agriculture (CSA) operation or offers events with prepared foods such as festivals and dinners on the farm will benefit from this workshop. The cost is $10 per person and includes refreshments.

To register, go to http://go.uvm.edu/agritourismworkshops. To request a disability-related accommodation to participate,contact Becky Bartlett at (802) 257-7967 or (800) 278-5480 (Vermont calls only) by July 19.

The workshop, which runs from 3-6 p.m., opens with a food safety panel moderated by Lisa Chase, Vermont Tourism Research Center director. Panelists include Hans Estrin, University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Produce Safety Accreditation Program coordinator; Stuart Farnham, vice president of farm sales with Frazer Insurance Agency in Windsor; and Liz Wirsing, food and lodging program chief for the Vermont Department of Health.

Estrin will provide an overview of food safety regulations, best practices and the various regulatory agencies and resources. Stuart will cover liability insurance and the financial and other benefits of proper food safety controls on the farm. Wirsing will discuss the role the Vermont Department of Health plays to ensure that farms comply with food safety regulations.

Participants also will get a tour of the food safety systems on the farm, an organic operation that includes a farm stand, PYO, CSA, café and kitchen. The program concludes with a legislative update from Stephanie Smith, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

The workshop is sponsored by UVM Extension, the Vermont Farm to Plate Network and the Farm-Based Education Network in collaboration with NOFA-VT, the Vermont Farm Bureau and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.