On-Farm Produce Safety
EPA Worker Protection Standard (WPS)
The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a regulation originally issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 and most recently revised in 2015. This regulation is primarily intended to reduce the risks of illness or injury to workers and handlers resulting from occupational exposures to pesticides used in the production of agricultural plants on agricultural establishments (i.e., farms, forests, nurseries and enclosed space production facilities, such as greenhouses).
The WPS requires agricultural employers to provide specific information and protections to workers, handlers and other persons when WPS-labeled pesticide products are used on agricultural establishments in the production of agricultural plants.
EPA WPS Train-the-Trainer for Agricultural Farms
K-State Research & Extension will provide EPA Worker Protection Standard Train-the-Trainer training for agricultural operations. This is a certificate training program that will teach you how to comply with the WPS regulation and implement training on your farm. This training is expected to launch late 2022.
- WPS Material & Resources - Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative
K-State Research and Extension receives funds for produce safety outreach and education from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA). The level of produce safety education funding Kansas receives from FDA is tied to the number of produce growers listed in the KDA produce grower inventory. Any grower is subject to inspection or verification of sales amounts, but KDA anticipates that very few growers will have on-farm visits. More information is available online at the KDA website: www.agriculture.ks.gov/PSR.
Why is registering your produce farm beneficial?
- Registering for the produce grower inventory makes it easier for K-State Research and Extension to provide educational support to growers.
- Registering also helps reduce the number of contacts KDA will need to make with each grower — we will need to periodically update the registry information to make sure it’s as accurate as possible.
- KDA has some information about produce growers in Kansas from other sources, so growers may already be in the inventory — completing the voluntary registration helps KDA maintain accurate information to be more efficient and effective with the required regulatory work.
Complete the online registry. If you have questions about the farm inventory, please contact Carly Tyler by email at Carly.Tyler@ks.gov or by phone at 785-564-6765. If you have questions about produce safety or scheduling an On-Farm Readiness Review, please contact Cal Jamerson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 913-709-0281.
- Traceability App Factsheet - Kansas State University
- Traceability App Tutorial - Kansas State University
- Developing Traceability - Kansas State University
Kansas State Research and Extension (KSRE) has GAPs cost share funding available for Kansas produce growers, which will pay for up to half the cost of any type of GAP certification (USDA, Primus, or other), with a maximum payment of $1,000 per farm. These funds are available for KS farmers who are re-applying for GAPs certification OR for farms who are applying for GAPs certification for the first time. KSRE will reimburse farmers up to half of the cost of the audit, after the farmer has passed the audit. These funds can only be used for GAPs audits occurring between October 1, 2021 and September 1, 2022. KSRE can also provide technical assistance to farmers in preparing for the GAPs audit. Free microbial water testing is also available to Kansas produce growers through this grant. These funds are available through a Specialty Crop Block Grant generously funded by the US Department of Agriculture, through the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
Note that this funding will now pay for any type of GAPs audit and we will now partially reimburse the farmer after they pay for the audit. More information on the USDA GAPs auditing process and templates that can be used for the required USDA GAPs food safety plan and record keeping is available from: www.ksre.k-state.edu/foodsafety/produce/usda-gap/index.html.
How can I take advantage of these funds?
Contact Londa Nwadike of KSRE to indicate your interest in this program. Once you have passed your GAPs audit and sent a copy of your paid invoice, KSRE can reimburse you up to half the cost of your GAPs audit, up to $1,000/farm. These limited funds are available on a first come, first served basis, until the available funding is utilized.
For more information, contact:
Londa Nwadike, MU/KSU Extension Food Safety Specialist
22201 W Innovation Dr, Olathe, KS 66061
How ready is your farm for new produce safety regulations? Find out with a free On-Farm Readiness Review! Many fresh produce growers have heard of the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule and may have some understanding of what they might need to do, but may not know just how ready they are if an inspection needed to take place.
In an effort to get people ready for a full implementation of the FSMA produce safety rule, Kansas State Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) have teamed up to offer On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRR). This review will walk through your operation, step-by-step, and see what you're doing right and any potential areas of concern. You will problem-solve with trained professionals about how to inexpensively change (if necessary) to meet the new food safety requirements. It is completely voluntary for growers to request an OFRR if they are interested. Best of all, there is no cost to growers!
A key starting point to doing the On-Farm Readiness Review is attending a FSMA Produce Safety Alliance grower training. This is a one-day course that has been and will continue to be offered by K-State Research & Extension throughout the state. This course introduces the key concepts about food safety that are covered by the FSMA Produce Safety rule. After attending this course, you will receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials.
Farmers interested in an OFRR must also register with KDA as a produce farm. To register click here and for more information about registration click here. Once you have attended a FSMA PSA training and registered as a produce farm with KDA, contact Cal Jamerson (email@example.com or 913-307-7394) about scheduling an OFRR. If you have specific questions about the OFRR or other on-farm produce safety questions, don't hesitate to get a hold of Cal!
Special thanks to Dan and Kathy Kuhn of the Depot Market for volunteering to be the first Kansas farm to participate in an On Farm Readiness Review!
The mission of the Kansas Specialty Crop Growers Association (KSCGA) will be to advance Kansas specialty crop production and participation. KSCGA will focus on creating a network of growers equipped with the resources, education, and mentoring necessary to increase production and profitability. KSCGA will have a members-only Facebook page! Growers can network and share with others across the state. This page will also allow state extension staff to answer our questions for all members to see. Membership benefits include:
- Unified Voice: A unified voice and increased resources
- Member Directory: Public membership list to facilitate networking with other growers, wholesale buyers, or consumers
- Education: Commercial, producer-focused learning events
- Technical Assistance: Central directory of current available resources
- Members-Only Facebook: Connecting growers throughout the state
Please visit www.kscga.org for more information or to become a member!
Our thanks to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, as well as USDA NIFA (Award 2016-70020-25800), and the K-State Center for Engagement and Community Development Incentive Grant for their support of this produce safety work.
Funding for this website and the listed workshops are made possible in part by grant KS5895 from the FDA. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the FDA.