Local vegetable growers now can get help paying for food handling certificationPosted: November 9, 2012
Now that the Winneshiek County Extension Office has received nearly $16,000 in state and federal funding, local vegetable growers can get financial help with the costs of getting certified as food handlers.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture grant to the local Extension Office will provide cost-share funding for vegetable farmers to assist them with the costs associated with a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit.
"More and more buyers are looking for GAP certification as a way to manage food safety risks," says Teresa Wiemerslage, ISU Extension and Outreach Regional Program Coordinator and coordinator for the NE Iowa Food & Farm Coalition. She says the annual expense for GAP certification for these farms can range between $500-1000. "This grant will be able to help these farms with their certification costs for the next two years.,
The $15,750 grant from the Iowa Department of Agriculture was part of $244,000 in grants to Iowa organizations to help enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops grown in Iowa.