Thursday, October 17, 2013

Free Regional “Food Safety on the Farm Conference” Set for Nov. 5 in Joplin

Contact: Patrick Byers, horticulture specialist
Headquartered in Greene County
Tel: (417) 881-8909

Source: Eileen Nichols, contact at 417 673-5866 or 483-8139

JOPLIN, Mo. -- A free two-day conference on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in southwest Missouri will feature the nation’s top food safety trainer, Dr. Elizabeth Bihn, and her colleague, Gretchen Wall, both of Cornell University.

The first day of the conference begins at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the Continental Banquet Center, 2802 North Rangeline, Joplin. Presentations that day will focus on a comprehensive food safety approach designed for small and mid-sized farms.

Seating for this free conference is limited so early registration is recommended.  Information and registration is available at or by calling Eileen Nichols at (417) 483-8139.


Participants may pick from three dates for the second-day small group labs where participants will begin a food safety plan for their farm.  Those dates and locations are:  Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the Webb City Public Library, 101 South Liberty, Webb City; Friday, Dec. 6, at the Botanical Center, 2400 South Scenic, Springfield; and Friday, Dec. 13, at the Webb City Public Library.

The Nov. 6 lab will be led by Dr. Bihn and Ms. Wall. The Dec. 6 and Dec. 13 labs will be led by specialists with University of Missouri Extension.

Dr. Elizabeth Bihn is director of the Produce Safety Alliance and program coordinator for the National Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Program.  Gretchen Wall is program coordinator for the Produce Safety Alliance.


The conference is co-sponsored by Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, University of Missouri Extension and the Webb City Farmers Market.  

Food safety is a critical issue for farmers, markets, consumers and the government.

For several years, the Webb City Farmers Market has required all its growers complete a three-hour workshop on food safety entitled, “From Field to Market,” prior to selling at the market.

“One incident of food contamination can harm our customers, close a farm and a market and adversely affect all markets in the region.  This conference brings the best food safety knowledge to our area and, we hope, will help us continue to bring healthy, safe food to the community,” said Eileen Nichols.

University of Missouri Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, is your local link to practical education on almost anything. More information on this topic is available online at


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