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About The Produce Safety Program

Produce Safety Education and Training

Our team of educators partners with farmers and subject matter experts to bring produce safety training to small, diverse, urban, rural, and hard-to-reach farm communities in the Mid-Atlantic region. We do this by using a community-based educator approach; training farmers and agricultural service providers to work in their own communities where they can have the greatest impact implementing produce safety practices, from soil to sale.

In addition to facilitating on-farm workshops and producing webinars and training videos, we work one-on-one with farmers to cater our educational services to their unique needs, finding creative solutions for diverse situations. 


We hope that this website can serve as a resource for you as you navigate the Produce Safety landscape to find practical ways for incorporating produce safety into your farm operations, especially as you grow your business to reach new markets.

Our community-based educators help growers meet their produce safety needs, from soil to sale. Through one-on-one coaching in addition to on-farm and virtual workshops, we provide free or low-cost services to ensure accessibility so that growers can reduce risk, keep consumers safe, promote efficiencies, and enhance production.  Our train-the-trainer model for Produce Safety educators builds capacity in communities so that fellow growers are working together; less like regulation and more like a conversation. 

 

The Chesapeake Produce Safety Education project is supported by the Food Safety Outreach Program grant no. USDA, NIFA Award # 2020-70020-33028, from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Views expressed in written materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices or trade names imply endorsement by the US Government.

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MINI-GRANTs

Mini-Grants up to $5,000 are available for:
– Market Research and Validation of Target Market
– Customer Acquisition
– Product Development Initiatives
– Food Safety Classes
Eligibility
Value-added producers and companies with traction ($20,000 or more in yearly revenue) in Maryland and Delaware are eligible to apply for Mini-Grants. Participants may apply once for each of the categories. Applicants must demonstrate that they have a unique and differentiated product or service that incorporates an aspect of innovation or technology in its production, processing, distribution, or other element of the food supply system.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Award decisions will be made and funds will be available no later than three weeks following the receipt of a completed application.
Application Process
Applicants must submit Mini-Grant proposals by filling out the form at this link. Copy(ies) of quote(s), proposal(s), estimate(s), or any other supporting documents.

ACCESS TO SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS (SMES)

CAIC offers access to Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who can offer authoritative advice based on their deep knowledge and experience in a specific area. See the ADVISORS page of this Web site to learn more about the SMEs who are available to CAIC participants.