The 2017 Citrus Expo seminar series will feature the latest research in the citrus industry and address grower concerns. Travis Chapin, a specialized Extension agent in food safety, will speak on an increasing grower concern, the produce safety rule.
Chapin’s presentation titled “Food Safety Modernization Act forecast: expectations for the first season under the produce safety rule” will aim to answer any lingering questions that growers have about the new rule. He says since Florida will be in the midst of harvest during the first compliance date this January, it’s important for the state’s growers to begin to adapt to the rule. Questions remain about when enforcement and inspections will begin and what those will look like, but there is an expectation that growers be able to show that they began complying with the rule requirements by their compliance dates. Chapin is motivated to answer as many questions as possible so Florida citrus growers can meet this expectation.
Chapin says by the time Citrus Expo occurs in mid-August, University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) should be close to having several new-hires in place to help growers with implementation of rule requirements including offering “on-farm readiness reviews,” voluntary pre-inspectional and educational programs that will be a collaborative effort between UF/IFAS and FDACS to help growers compare their current practices with the new requirements. Around the time of the Expo, on-farm readiness reviews in Florida will begin to be scheduled. UF/IFAS continues to offer Produce Safety Alliance grower training courses.
Pre-registration for Citrus Expo is now open! All pre-registered growers will be eligible for a chance to win a John Deere gun safe courtesy of Everglades Equipment Group. As growers pre-register online, they are encouraged to participate in a very short, anonymous survey on bactericide use. Take the survey here. Conducted by AgNet Media in cooperation with the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, the 2017 survey will build on knowledge gathered from the 2016 survey. Results of the survey will be presented during the Citrus Expo seminar program.
Complete details of the seminar schedule are available here. To learn more about Citrus Expo, or to register, visit CitrusExpo.net.
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