No one growing produce wants to inadvertently make people ill because of poor food safety practices.

Three training sessions will be held in New Mexico to help fruit and vegetable growers meet the regulatory requirements included in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule.

New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service and the Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center, housed at NMSU, are offering training to growers in Albuquerque, Abiquiu and Socorro in November and December.

The Product Safety Rule requires at least one supervisor or person responsible for the farm to have successfully completed food safety training before the compliance dates of January 2019 and 2020 in accordance with the annual monetary value of produce the farm sold during the previous three years.

“One way to satisfy that requirement is to attend a produce safety rule grower training course,” said Bob Silver with the Southwest Border Food Protection and Emergency Preparedness Center. “This is an eight-hour course that covers risk to produce safety and how to meet regulatory demands associated with the rule.”

Participants who complete the course receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials that verifies they have completed the training. The certificate is also useful for meeting buyer requirements for food safety.

Participants receive a course manual that is a useful reference to farm safety practices and to develop a farm safety plan.

The Product Safety Alliance grower training in New Mexico will be:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 13, at NMSU’s Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service, 1510 Menaul Blvd. NW, in Albuquerque. Online registration at
  • Wednesday, Dec. 12, at NMSU’s Rio Arriba County Cooperative Extension Service, State Road 554, House #122-A, Abiquiu. Online registration at
  • Thursday, Dec. 13, at NMSU’s Socorro County Cooperative Extension Service, 198 Neel Avenue, Socorro. Online registration at

All training sessions are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration cost is $35, which includes lunch, training manual and certification of course completion.

For more information, call Karen Montoya, 575-646-2584.

The trainings are sponsored by NMSU’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

Source: New Mexico State University (Jane Moorman)