May 3, 2018
Penn State bilingual workshop covers fruit trees pruning, GAP

There were no empty chairs at the indoor portion of the workshop. Photo: Lee Stivers, Penn State

Penn State Extension in April offered a practical field training for Spanish-speaking growers and workers in the fruit industry.

Over eighty people packed this successful workshop on food safety and pruning held at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center and the Hollabaugh Orchard farm in Biglerville, Penn. Spanish was the primary language for all the participants.

Presenters for the hands-on workshop were Maria Gorgo-Gourovitch and Lee Stivers, Penn State Extension Educators and Mario Miranda Sazo, Cornell Extension Fruit Specialist. Extension Educator Tara Baugher also helped coordinate the full day program. Maria, Lee, and Mario are esteemed speakers for the Spanish session at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention, and at the request of program participants, they lead this interactive field training focused on worker training topics included in the new FDA mandated Food Safety Modernization Act.

Some of the topics covered by Maria and Lee were Introduction to Good Agricultural Practices, Worker Health and Personal Hygiene, and Pre- and Post-harvest Sources of Contamination. Mario spoke about the science of pruning high-density orchards and then demonstrated pruning skills at Hollabaugh Orchard.

This project was supported by a USDA NIFA’s Food Safety Outreach Program grant titled “Bilingual Produce Safety Educational Programming for Hispanic/Latino Fresh Produce Growers and Farmworkers in Pennsylvania.”

Above: Mario Miranda Sazo, Cornell Extension Fruit Specialist, demonstrating pruning technique to attendees at Hollabaugh Orchards. Photo: Lee Stivers, Penn State

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