The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently announced more than $4.7 million in grants for food safety education, training and technical assistance projects for producers who are impacted by the new food safety guidelines established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The grants, made available through NIFA’s Food Safety Outreach Program, will assist owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, small fresh fruit and vegetable wholesalers, food hubs, farmers markets and others.
“Providing food safety training for small farm owners and food processors is critically important to the health of consumers,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Outreach, training and technical support are essential to the successful implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.”
In 2015, NIFA and the FDA funded the creation of national and regional centers to extend food safety education, training and technical assistance to groups affected by new FSMA guidelines. NIFA’s Food Safety Outreach Program uses that infrastructure to assist grantees that will work directly with producers and collaborate with the centers to share best practices and lessons learned to inform future projects.
Learn more about the pilot projects and awardees here.