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Agriculture Industry Leaders Teach Food Safety at Hartnell’s Agriculture Institute

July 27th, 2007

Leaders of the local and state agricultural community will teach a two-day food safety practices course at Hartnell College’s Agricultural Business and Technology Institute on August 2 and 3. The course will be taught in both English and Spanish.

"We had a terrific turnout for this course when we offered it in April," said Neil Ledford, Institute director and long-time faculty member at Hartnell, "because it responds to some real needs in the industry, and industry leaders with extensive food safety experience are actually coming here to teach it."

Faculty for the course include Hank Giclas, Western Growers Association’s vice president of science and technology and head of its Food Safety Team; California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Scott Horsfall, head of the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, Steve Thomas, agricultural inspector, and Manuel Hernandez; Andrew Fernandez, vice president for raw product, and Cosme Pina, both of Taylor Farms; Dan Armstrong, director of quality-retail, and Israel Morales, both of Fresh Express; David Cramer, director of technical services and programs of Grower-Shipper Association of Central California; Kari Valdes, quality assurance manager for Mills Family Farms; Francisco Valdes and Barry Eisenberg of River Ranch Fresh Foods; Larissa Daniel of Driscoll's; Saul del Real of Metz Fresh; and Bob Martin, general manager of Rio Farms and chair of Hartnell’s Agriculture Steering Committee.

Participants in the short course, "Introduction to GAPs and Food Safety Practices," will develop a basic understanding of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and how to perform GAP assessments, will learn about field assessments and identifying potential risks, will understand how to create and utilize Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and will develop a basic understanding of microbiological contamination. In addition to teaching materials, participants will receive certificates of completion.

The course will be taught in Spanish in room 125 of the Performing Arts Facility. The English version will be in Steinbeck Hall, both on Hartnell’s main campus at 411 Central Avenue in Salinas.

The two-day course runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday with registration beginning at 7 a.m. All participants will begin in Steinbeck Hall.

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, an extraordinary collaboration between college and industry leaders, has received significant funding and support from Taylor Farms, Fresh Express, Growers Express, King City Young Farmers, D’Arrigo Bros. Co., Tanimura Family Foundation, Driscoll Strawberry Associates, Snow Seed, SoilServ, the Harden Foundation, CA Farm Labor Contractors Alliance, and Coastal Tractor.

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