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Agriculture Industry Leaders Teach Food Safety Course at New Hartnell Agricultural Business and Technology Institute

April 13th, 2007

Several leaders of the local and state agricultural community will teach a two-day food safety practices course at Hartnell Collegeís new Agricultural Business and Technology Institute on April 18 and 20 at Steinbeck Hall at Hartnell.

Agriculture Industry Leaders Teach Food Safety Course at New Hartnell Agricultural Business and Technology Institute

"This course is an exciting first development for the Institute," says Neil Ledford, Institute director and long-time faculty member at Hartnell, "because so many industry leaders with extensive food safety experience are working together to take the lead in teaching about good agricultural practices."

Faculty for the course include Bob Martin, general manager of Rio Farms and chair of Hartnellís Agriculture Steering Committee; Afreen Malik, manager of food safety for Ocean Mist Farms; Kari Valdes, quality assurance manager for Mills Family Farms; Dan Armstrong, director of quality-retail at Fresh Express; Andrew Fernandez, vice president for raw product at Taylor Farms; Dave Cramer, director of technical services and programs of Grower-Shipper Association of Central California; and Hank Giclas, Western Growers Associationís vice president of science and technology and head of its Food Safety Team.

Participants in the short course, "Introduction to GAPs and Food Safety Practices" will develop a basic understanding of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), performing GAP assessments, performing field assessments and identifying potential risks, creating and utilizing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and issues surrounding microbiological contamination.

The field risk assessment part of the course will occur at a field location, while the rest of the course will be taught at Hartnellís main campus at 411 Central Avenue in Salinas.

The two-day course runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on both Wednesday and Friday. Registration begins at 7 a.m. The course is sponsored by Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, Western Growers, Monterey Farm Bureau, and Hartnell College Foundation.

"The Hartnell College Agricultural Business and Technology Institute is an extraordinary collaboration between college and industry leaders," says Dr. Edward J. Valeau, president and superintendent of Hartnell College. The Institute already has received significant funding and support from Taylor Farms, Fresh Express, Growers Express, King City Young Farmers, DíArrigo Bros. Co., Tanimura Family Foundation, Driscoll Strawberry Associates, Snow Seed, SoilServ, the Harden Foundation, and CA Farm Labor Contractors Alliance.

For more information or to register, please contact director Neil Ledford at (831) 755-6941 or e-mail ag@hartnell.edu