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Contact Information

The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers. Visit your local county extension office.

Friday, July 27, 2012

GAPs Online Produce Safety Course

Wes Kline and I serve on the National Good Ag Practices program headquartered at Cornell University. The program has been offering regular GAPs Online Produce Safety Courses for quite awhile now. The next session will begin August 15, 2012 and end September 4, 2012. More information regarding the course follows. To register for the course, visit

A minimum of 10 people must be registered for us to offer the course and class size is limited to 25 people. The course price is now $190. If you have any questions after reviewing the registration information, please contact:
Elizabeth 'Betsy' Bihn, Ph.D. 
630 W. North Street 
NYSAES - Hedrick Hall
Geneva, NY 14456 
Ph: 315.787.2625 
Fax: 315.787.2216 

-- Rick VanVranken

Implementing Good Agricultural Practices is a 3-week web-based course offered through the National GAPs Program. Class size is limited to 25 people on a first come, first serve basis. Special arrangements can be made for large groups to ensure everyone is in the same class together.  

Time Commitment Once the course opens, it is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day for 3 weeks so you will be able to complete the course when time permits in your schedule. There are no required hours of participation. There is an instructor. The instructor may schedule office hours but you are not required to attend these hours. You will be able to email your instructor at all times during the course and they will respond in a timely manner. All course requirements must be completed within the 3 week window. Do communicate any problems you are having to your instructor or to the eCornell help desk so that we can provide assistance and guidance.

Within the three weeks you are expected to:
  • Complete a pre- and post-test 
  • Read all course materials 
  • Turn in 4 assignments for evaluation 
  • Complete 2 self-tests 
  • Contribute to the discussion boards. 

Most students spend 15 to 20 hours on this course, but depending on your knowledge, more or less time may be required. If this is more than you can manage at the moment, we hope that you will not take the course at this time, but sign up at a later date when you have the time to complete the program.

Good Agricultural Practices Online Produce Safety Course Outline  

Module One: Welcome to Implementing GAPs: A Key to Produce Safety
1.0.0 Module Home Page
1.1.0 About This Course  

Module Two: Shared Responsibility in Food Safety
2.0.0 Module Home Page
2.1.0 Reasons for Engagement
2.2.0 Module Wrap-Up  

Module Three: Good Agricultural Practices
3.0.0 Module Home Page
3.1.0 Worker Training, Hygiene, and Health
3.2.0 Water Use 3.3.0 Postharvest Water Use
3.4.0 Soil Amendments
3.5.0 Cleaning and Sanitation
3.6.0 Traceability and Recall
3.7.0 Crisis Management
3.8.0 Other Important Practices
3.9.0 Module Wrap-Up  

Module Four: Implementing Change
4.0.0 Module Home Page
4.1.0 Education and Training in Food Safety
4.2.0 Building the Plan
4.3.0 Module Wrap-Up  

Module Five: Course Conclusion
5.0.0 Module Home Page
5.1.0 Concluding Activities

Development of this course and its content has been a collaborative effort between professionals in government, academia, and industry with funding from the USDA, so we hope you enjoy the course and increase your produce food safety knowledge!