In this issue:

Online Produce Safety Training

Local Foods Open Space Discussion

Webinar Opportunities

Becoming a Share Grounds Client

Other COVID-19 Resources
**P articipant attendance and engagement will be monitored. Participants are only eligible for a PSA/AFDO Certificate of Course Completion if they are present for all modules of the course**
Local Foods Open Space Discussion

Topics Covered: Pick Your Own Farms and Farmers Market Tips for Operation during COVID-19

April 13, 2020 | 2:30 to 4:00 PM

This meeting is intended for the farming and food industry.

Ryan Neal, Cooperative Extension Agent and blueberry grower, will share best practices for farm u-pick operations.

Dr. Amanda Philyaw Perez, Food Systems and Safety Specialist, will share state guidance and best practices for farmers market operation.

There will also be an open space discussion to bring up issues with farms, food stands, farmers markets, CSA's, small grocers, cottage food businesses, farm to school, restaurants, popup food shops and other food business issues.
Webinar Opportunities
The Basics of Producing Value-Added Food Products from Farmers Market Surplus

April 21, 2020 | 12 pm - 1 pm

Join Drs. Renee Threlfall, Amanda McWhirt, and graduate student Morgan Gramlich as they discuss the steps and economics for using certified kitchens or Cottage Food Law to create value-added products from surplus produce collected at farmers markets or on-farm. Learn about the results from their trials collecting un-sold produce at an Arkansas farmers market and turning it into three different value-added food products.
Always be Cleaning and Sanitizing

North Carolina State Extension provides an overview of COVID-19 practices you and your employees can implement right away and outlines the differences between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting and when these are appropriate at a farm.
Other COVID-19 Resources
For more information and resources on COVID-19, check out our Extension site dedicated to bringing you science-based information.
Check out this FDA resource on COVID-19 and food safety.
The EPA has a list (List N) of disinfectants to use against COVID-19.
Start Your Food Business
Become a Share Grounds Client

During this time of social distancing and food supply chain disruptions, entrepreneurs have been launching or expanding their home-based food businesses. For those eager to transition to the next step or have a food product concept they are ready to test, the Share Grounds is open to provide technical assistance on food manufacturing in the state of Arkansas. Our Share Grounds managers are available, either by phone or video call, to discuss your food business idea and how the Share Grounds can serve your needs.

  • First, visit our website to review resources that will help you prepare for the next step. There you can find the contact information for our Share Grounds managers. Send them an introductory email or contact them by phone.
  • You will receive a link to an online form to answer questions about your product. Please complete and submit the form.
  • Once completed and submitted, schedule a time to meet virtually with the manager. This meeting will last 1-2 hours depending on your product and business needs. At that time, you will receive a client-user agreement, facility protocols and additional documents to help with business financial decision making.
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