Fruit and Vegetable Crop Walk

Hardin County – There is a segment of agriculture in southeastern Hardin County that specializes in commercial fruit and vegetable production. Hardin County is also home to the Scioto Valley Produce Auction near Mt. Victory where much of this produce is sold. Hardin County OSU Extension has planned a Fruit and Vegetable Crop Walk program on Tuesday, August 2 from 6:00-8:00 pm to help with fruit and vegetable production issues. The location of the program will be on a produce farm at 15237 County Road 209, Kenton. It is open to all fruit and vegetable producers, whether they are commercial or home gardeners.

OSU Extension Integrated Pest Management Coordinator Jim Jasinski will provide information on using IPM techniques to control pests with produce. Ashley Leach, OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor of Entomology will provide an update on specialty crops insects. Gary Gao, OSU Extension Small Fruit Production Specialist will provide information on growing grapes and raspberries. Brad Bergefurd, Technical Specialty Crop Agronomist, Brandt Discovery and Innovation will provide an update for growers on vegetable production fertility. Hardin County OSU Extension Educator Mark Badertscher will provide information about Driftwatch; a voluntary communication tool that enables crop producers, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators to work together to protect specialty crops and apiaries through use of mapping programs.

The program will be held outside so bring your lawn chair and umbrella in case of rain. There will be a diagnostic table so be sure to bring along any weeds, plant nutrition problems, plant diseases, and insect specimens in a sealed plastic bag for questions and answers. The program will conclude with a walk through a produce field, pointing out fruit and vegetable issues and steps to properly manage them. There is no cost to attend this event.

Attend the FSMA Training on May 31

Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety should attend. The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘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.’

What to expect at the PSA Grower Training Course
The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering content contained in the PSA Grower Training curriculum outlined in the draft agenda. In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

Cost to Attend
Registration cost is $50. This cost covers course materials, certificate of attendance, and lunch. To register, fill out the REGISTRATION FORM – GROWER TRAINING MAY 31 2017 and send by mail to Allison Penate (Gourley Hall 1680 Madison Ave, Wooster, OH 44691), email to Allison Penate ( or call to 330-641-8147. Contact Dr. Sanja Ilic ( with questions about the content of this PSA course.

Benefits of Attending the Course
The course will provide FSMA Produce Safety Rule training requirements. Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of:

  • Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm
  • How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm
  • Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one
  • Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them.

After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course.

For more information about the PSA Grower Training Course, please visit the PSA website at

8:00 AM Registration and Refreshments
8:30 AM Welcome and Introductions
9:00 AM Module 1: Introduction to Produce Safety
9:45 AM Module 2: Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
10:45 AM Break
11:00 AM Module 3: Soil Amendments
11:45 AM Module 4: Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
12:30 PM Lunch
1:30 PM Module 5: Agricultural Water – Part I: Production Water
2:30 PM Module 5: Agricultural Water – Part 2: Postharvest Water
3:15 PM Break
3:30 PM Module 6: Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
4:30 PM Module 7: How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan
5:15  PM End of Training Session