To receive a notification through the Remind text messaging system when a Tangi-Washington Grower Update is posted, please contact Mary Helen Ferguson. Click here for links to previous Tangi-Washington Grower Updates.
I want to share information about several upcoming events and resources available to you.
From the Louisiana Farm to School Program: “The Meet the Buyer, Greet the Grower event connects institutional buyers, such as schools, to regional fruit, vegetable and other food producers looking to sell their products to a new market. The event is an opportunity to network with local producers, food hubs, wholesale, retail, school systems, and other buyers in a relaxed setting. The event is free to attend, however participants must be in the business of buying or selling food products.” Click here for more information and to register.
One part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Fresh Produce Safety rule is that, “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.” For those who aren’t familiar with FSMA requirements or need a refresher, this website provides information. As mentioned in the Key Requirements section of that page, farms “that have an average annual value of produce sold during the previous three-year period of $25,000 or less” are exempt from the Produce Safety rule. (That initial threshold has since been adjusted for inflation.) There are also exemptions related to certain crops that are identified as “rarely consumed raw,” and some farms that sell a majority of their food (not just produce) to “qualified end-users” are exempt from some but not all parts of the Produce Safety rule. If you think that you may qualify for a partial or full exemption, please see the above-mentioned website and this chart.
The cost for this event is only $20, but you do need to pre-register. For more information and to register, click here.
In the past, most of these meetings were held on the first Tuesday of the month, but the plan is to hold them on the first Thursday for the foreseeable future. Purposes of the group include hosting the Washington Parish Watermelon Festival and engaging in other activities that support local fruit and vegetable growers. Meetings are typically held at the LSU AgCenter office (1104-B Bene St., Franklinton) at 6 PM. For now, contact me if you’re interested in coming and want to make sure the meeting is still scheduled for the normal date and time.
As an alternative to taking an exam, people now have the option of sitting through an interactive training at a computer kiosk to get Private Pesticide Applicator Certification. Click here to sign up for the training. I suggest watching the video that explains how it’s done. You can choose among six locations. The current location for the Florida Parishes is Livingston. Once you register, you’ll have to wait at least two weeks before taking the training. Note that this is only an option for Private Pesticide Applicator Certification. It is not for people, such as landscapers and contract sprayers, who will be applying pesticides for a fee on others’ land and therefore need Commercial Pesticide Applicator Certification. People who need commercial certification are still required to take the applicable exams.
If you’d like to get the Ornamental Updates from LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station faculty and staff, please email Dr. Damon Abdi and ask to be on the email list.
What is Wrong with My Blackberry? Identifying Fresh-Market Blackberry Disorders (University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture)
Please let me know if you have questions.
Contact Mary Helen Ferguson, Ph.D.
The LSU AgCenter and LSU provide equal opportunities in programs and employment.