October 14, 2020
Hello Produce Safety Alliance Listserv Members:
The start of fall has proven to be very busy for the PSA team! We are excited to announce the addition of two new team members, plus summaries of our most recent pilot Train-the-Trainer Course and trainer refresher series efforts. Additionally, members of the PSA team are working on a project to develop illustrations to complement the PSA Grower Training Curriculum - your feedback is requested below via a short survey. FDA also released a new proposed rule for food traceability. Additional information about opportunities to comment and participate in listening sessions is included below. 
Happy Fall!
The PSA Team
Welcome New PSA Team Members!
Davis Blasini, M.S.

Davis joined the Produce Safety Alliance as a Spanish-Language Extension Associate on October 1, 2020. Davis is a plant physiologist interested in extension work regarding plant sciences, microbiology, bilingual education, and water quality and conservation. Davis worked for the University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center as a research technician for four years. This experience allowed him to become involved in food safety-related scientific instructional projects targeting Hispanic communities throughout the state of Arizona. Davis has translated into Spanish several fact sheets, instructional field guides, technical manuals, YouTube videos, and the agricultural water quality app (AgWater) while co-leading and teaching the NASDA’s On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) and the PSA Grower Training in Spanish. Davis received his B.S. at Northeastern Illinois University and his M.S. in Biology from Arizona State University.
Ricardo Orellana, Ph.D.

Ricardo will join the Produce Safety Alliance as a Spanish-Language Extension Associate on October 16, 2020. Ricardo offers assistance to fresh produce growers, packers, extension educators, and regulatory officials to increase their understanding of implementing food safety practices on the farm to accomplish the FSMA goals. He has experience in outreach and technical assistance approaches, transference of technology, food safety, value chain development, and marketing for sustainable business expansion in many countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, as well as in the United States. Ricardo has developed training materials and delivered educational programming for farmers, released extension articles, and established strategies for vegetable production, post-harvest practices, and marketing connections. Ricardo holds a B.S in Agriculture from Zamorano University, Honduras, and his Ph.D. in Plant & Soil Sciences from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
News Briefs from the PSA Team
PSA Hosts First Pilot Remote Train-the-Trainer Courses
In continued response to COVID-19, the PSA team piloted the first remotely delivered PSA Train-the-Trainer Courses in English (Sept. 21-24) and Spanish (Oct. 5-8). There is a continued need to develop PSA Trainers to provide training to growers worldwide, while also addressing new staffing turnover. Fifteen participants from AL, FL, HI, KY, MD, NM, NV, NY, OR, TN, VA, and US Virgin Islands attended the English course in September; and 13 participants from AZ, CA, GA, MA, MN, NY, PR, VT, and WI attended the Spanish pilot in October. The training teams used a variety of methods to engage course participants in the remote environment including polling, annotation, breakout rooms, and other feedback mechanisms in Zoom. Both courses were very successful. The PSA plans to evaluate the feedback received through course evaluations in order to make future PSA Train-the-Trainer courses available as part of their remote course offerings. 
Pilot Remote PSA Train-the-Trainer Course Participants (English)
September 21-24, 2020
Pilot Remote PSA Train-the-Trainer Course Participants (Spanish)
October 5-8, 2020
First Sessions in PSA Trainer Refresher Series a Great Success!
On Thursday October 1, 2020, Dr. Connie Fisk, the PSA’s Northwest Extension Associate, kicked off the first of an 8-part series for 80 PSA Trainers and PSA Lead Trainers to refresh their knowledge of the PSA Grower Training curriculum in preparation for winter trainings, as well as to provide tips for delivering trainings remotely. The first session covered Module 1: Introduction to Produce Safety and was followed a week later on October 8, 2020 by Module 2, delivered by Dr. Betsy Bihn. Dr. Don Stoeckel will present a refresher of Module 3: Soil Amendments this Thursday, October 15, 2020. Links to the previous recordings are below. The PSA team will continue hosting Train-the-Trainer refresher webinars on Thursdays in October and November at noon Eastern time until all PSA modules are covered including critical concepts and strategies used to increase participant engagement. There will be time for questions and discussion. The basic presentation each week will be recorded and available on the PSA website for later viewing. The discussion will not be recorded so that trainers can ask their questions freely. As always, you can contact your PSA Regional Extension Associate at any time with your specific questions about delivering the PSA Grower Training Course. Registration is not required, just use the Zoom meeting link listed below to connect.

Schedule:
All meetings will be at 12 PM ET
Oct. 15 – Module 3: Soil Amendments
Oct. 22 – Module 4: Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
Oct. 29 – Module 5-1: Agricultural Water – Production Water
Nov. 5 – Module 5-2: Agricultural Water – Postharvest Water
Nov. 12 – Module 6: Postharvest handling and Sanitation
Nov. 19 – Module 7: How to develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

Connection details:
Join Zoom Meeting
 
Meeting ID: 973 3345 5266
Passcode: 541541
One tap mobile
+16027530140,,97333455266# US (Phoenix)
News Briefs from the PSA Team: Individual Updates
It has been a busy and productive month! The entire PSA team has been involved in PSA-hosted Remote Delivery PSA Grower Training courses, Online PSA Grower Training sessions, the pilot Remote Delivery Train-the-Trainer courses, and the Train-the-Trainer refresher webinar series. Additional region-specific updates can be found below.
Northeast Region
Dr. Betsy Bihn, PSA Director, participated in Safe Harvest 2020: COVID-19 Office Hours in collaboration with colleagues from Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development and Cornell Cooperative Extension. These sessions allowed growers and packers to ask any questions about managing and responding to protect the farm workforce during COVID-19 as well as maintaining their on-farm food safety programs.

Ms. Gretchen Wall, PSA Coordinator and Northeast Extension Associate, presented information to new and aspiring business entrepreneurs in an October webinar regarding how to navigate produce safety buyer requirements and federal regulation. The 6-week class hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties is being held virtually and participants work on developing a product or service from start to finish, including a business plan!
Midwest Region
Dr. Don Stoeckel, the PSA’s Midwest Extension Associate, has been working with regional teams to prepare for the upcoming training season by facilitating multi-state collaboration on Remote Delivery courses in conjunction with the North Central FSMA Center. He also worked with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture in support of two Agriculture and Farm Safety Workshops in late September and early October and is looking forward to a series of commitments to assist with Remote Delivery courses in the coming months.  
Northwest Region
Dr. Connie Fisk, PSA Northwest Regional Extension Associate, met with several state-based training teams in and out of her region in September to share tips for remote delivery using Zoom. The information shared was originally offered during her office hours in the spring, but many were hopeful that training would be back to face-to-face by fall. Now that more training teams acknowledge that remote delivery will be necessary, if they have questions about using Zoom or just want a quick refresher of some of the Zoom tools to make a training more engaging, they can email Connie (connie.fisk@cornell.edu) to schedule a private office hour with their team.

As you may or may not know, Connie manages our social media accounts. She was invited to speak on the Western Regional Center to Enhance Food Safety (WRCEFS) September Conference Call to share social media best practices and tools to help educators and programs engage with their stakeholders online. The topic was so well received that she’ll be speaking in greater detail on this topic at a WRCEFS webinar to be held November 6 at 4 pm Eastern, 1 pm Pacific (Eventbrite Registration, password: webinar).
Southwest Region
Ms. Donna Clements, PSA Southwest Regional Extension Associate, has supported her region by discussing remote delivery experiences and recommendations as new training teams prepare to offer their first remote courses in the Southwest. Additionally, this summer Donna worked with collaborators to support PSA Grower Training Courses and a professional development workshop in the region. Donna also worked with the Riverside Food Systems Alliance and the Riverside Unified School District to offer a remote GAPs training on August 11-13 for small farms in Riverside, CA interested in expanding their market access.
Southeast Region
Mr. Tommy Saunders, PSA Southeast Regional Extension Associate, participated in this year’s ‘virtual’ Southern Region Integrated Produce Safety (SRIPS) conference. The 4-day conference was a great opportunity for the entire Southeastern region to meet, as a whole, for the first time since the start of the pandemic. SRIPS provided participants the opportunity to hear the importance and roles in food safety and the PSR from many perspectives this year, including the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving Institutions, Buyers, Non-governmental Organizations and Community-based Organizations. Participants were also able to collaborate in sessions that covered topics such as best practices for inspections and food safety during COVID-19 and also take a deeper dive into the latest information, educational content, and best practices on biological soil amendments, cleaning and sanitizing, and water.

While the SRIPS conference, like many, was forced to meet virtually this year, that did not damper any spirits. The conference provided a great platform for Federal and State updates, along with updates from various organizations. These updates provided a basis for collaboration between participants in numerous break-out room sessions and a poster session, to make up for the inability to network in-person. Tommy would like to thank the FSMA Southern Center and everyone involved with the SRIPS planning committee for hosting an amazing conference and is looking forward to when everyone can meet again in person. 
Survey to prioritize produce safety practices and develop illustrations to support PSA Grower Training Curriculum
Familiar with the phrase, ‘A picture is worth 1,000 words’? Produce Safety Alliance team members at Cornell University are excited to announce their work on a new project funded by FDA and the National Farmers Union Local Food Safety Collaborative to meet the diverse educational needs of fruit and vegetable growers. Through the More than Words Project, a series of illustrations will be developed to supplement the Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training to help attendees visualize concepts within the curriculum. These resources will be useful to all growers to reinforce educational concepts, but may be particularly valuable to low literacy audiences, or those who do not understand currently available written translations of the PSA curriculum. The team will work closely with an ad hoc panel of educators and growers to select critical concepts for illustration development, and refine the illustrations with direct input from produce growers.

The project team seeks your input on prioritization of produce safety practices to begin developing a list of illustrations to complement the PSA Grower Training Curriculum. The survey is voluntary and should take no more than 10 minutes of your time. The survey is open to anyone involved in produce safety – produce growers, packers, educators, regulators, industry members, consultants, and others! The project team greatly values your feedback in this process.

The survey will close on Monday, November 2, 2020
Reminder to Trainers & Training Organizers
When measures to control COVID-19 went into effect across the United States and other countries, the PSA team moved quickly to ensure growers would have access to required produce safety training. The PSA team fast-tracked a Temporary Remote Delivery option and an Online PSA Grower Training course option. Both successfully launched in April 2020. Now, in addition to in-person courses that continue to be available at some locations, fresh produce growers and packers have access to the course via the internet in two different formats. It is critically important that trainers and course organizers use the correct terminology when advertising and promoting PSA Grower Trainings so that participants clearly understand the type of course for which they plan to register.

The Remote Delivery option is best for those who have blocks of time available and prefer to listen to a PSA Lead Trainer and/or PSA Trainer(s) deliver the content as live presentations over the internet. This is closest in format to the traditional in-person courses. The Online option is best for those who need to work at their own pace, and that have more time to invest. The Online PSA Grower Training is text heavy and requires participants to write six discussions for evaluation by a PSA Trainer. Full details of these two course options are in the linked descriptions. Search our Upcoming Grower Trainings listing for a course that meets your training needs or talk to your local produce safety outreach team member about their plans to offer the course in the coming months.
FDA Updates
On September 21, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a proposed rule to establish additional traceability recordkeeping requirements for certain foods. As part of this effort, FDA also published a draft food traceability list that would be subject to the proposed requirements including leafy greens, fresh cut fruits and vegetables, some types of fish, shell eggs, nut butters, and more. If finalized, this proposed rule would standardize data elements that food businesses must establish and maintain, and what information must be passed on to the next individual in the supply chain to facilitate rapid and accurate traceability. The PSA team is still digesting the content within the proposed rule, and may develop future educational materials on this topic. Comments can be made in the Federal Register until January 21, 2021.
In addition, the FDA will be hosting a series of three virtual one-day public meetings to discuss the proposed requirements and facilitate the public’s evaluation and commenting process on the proposed rule. These meetings will occur on November 6, November 18, and December 2, 2020. For more information and to register, visit the FDA website
Learning Opportunities
Learn to Effectively Use the Harmonized Audit Standard
Register for United Fresh Produce Association’s virtual Produce GAPs Harmonized Standard Auditor Training, October 19-22, featuring 4 half-day sessions. Sponsored by the National Farmers Union, this course features the official training materials developed by the Produce GAPs Harmonization Initiative Calibration Committee, designed to standardize food safety auditors’ use and expectations of the combined, Pre- and Post-harvest Harmonized Standards. While specifically targeted towards auditors who offer audits/certifications to the Harmonized Standard, this training is open to all audit organization members, growers, and other interested parties using the harmonized standards. Information about the Harmonized Standards, including downloadable versions of the Field Operations and Harvesting, Post-harvest Operations, and Combined Standards, is available here.

For more information on the training, please contact United Fresh's Food Safety Program Coordinator Katie McGowan at 202-303-3402.
Job Postings
California Department of Food & Agriculture - Senior Environmental Scientist
Under general direction of the Senior Environmental Scientist (SES) (Supervisory), the Senior Environmental Scientist (SES) (Specialist) will serve as the Lead PSP Inspector for food-borne outbreak response efforts and inspector calibration efforts within California.
To learn more and apply visit the CalCareers website.

California Department of Food & Agriculture - Environmental Scientist Under the direction of the Senior Environmental Scientist (SES) (Supervisory) within the PSP, the Environmental Scientist will conduct on-farm environmental assessments and enforcement to ensure compliance with FSMA and the PSR.
To learn more and apply visit the CalCareers website.