From the Farm: Heifer Ranch Talks Food Safety

February 27, 2019Blog

By Kira Zimmerman, National Farmers Union Intern National Farmers Union and the Local Food Safety Collaborative are working with family farmers across the country to help keep our food safe. In our “From the Farm” blog series, we’re bringing you food safety stories, opinions, and lessons learned from family farmers across the country! Meet farmer Sean … Read More

CDC Blanket Romaine Recall Hurts Small Farms

December 7, 2018Blog

This blog was originally posted on and we were given permission to share on our website. Co-Authors for this blog are Kali Feiereisel, Dave Runsten and Evan Wiig of Farmers Guild Last week, the U.S. government issued a blanket “do not eat” warning for produce. As in the 2006 spinach outbreak, the Centers for Disease … Read More

So TAN Guidance Isn’t Legally Binding…Now What?

November 15, 2018Blog

By Sarah Vaile, Research Attorney, Farm Commons  The Technical Assistance Network , otherwise known as “TAN,” are the people over at FDA whose job it is to help you understand the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). But, what if I tell you that the guidance TAN offers is not legally-binding? You may be surprised, but it’s … Read More

FSMA Readiness: Physical and Chemical Risks

October 25, 2018Blog

By Liza Ayres, LFSC Intern, National Farmers Union Farming inevitably presents produce safety risks, but increased knowledge and action can help farmers reduce liabilities and maintain successful operations. Previous blogs in this series explained the biological risks that can occur due to bacterial growth or other pathogens, but because food safety hazards can take a … Read More

FSMA Readiness: Produce Safety Risks from Parasites

October 16, 2018Blog

By Jake Stukenberg, LFSC Intern, National Farmers Union After discussion of bacteria and viruses we’ll be wrapping up the types of biological hazards that the FSMA Produce Safety Rule covers today. The third type of pathogen that the Produce Safety Rule aims to reduce is parasites. Parasites are protozoa or intestinal worms that can only … Read More

FSMA Readiness: Produce Safety Risks from Viruses

October 9, 2018Blog

By Jake Stukenberg, LFSC Intern, National Farmers Union When it comes to produce safety, much of the risk is caused by things a grower could never see with the naked eye. Last week we talked about the risks bacteria pose to produce and strategies to reduce the risks associated with them. This week we’re moving … Read More

FSMA Readiness: Produce Safety Risks from Bacteria

October 2, 2018Blog

By Jake Stukenberg, LFSC Intern, National Farmers Union As we mentioned last week, produce safety risks can come in many different forms on a farm. Farmers must be aware of these risks and work hard to minimize them. With knowledge, education, and action, a farmer can take easy steps to reduce risk on their operation. … Read More

FSMA Readiness: What are Produce Safety Risks?

September 26, 2018Blog

By Jake Stukenberg, LFSC Intern, National Farmers Union Regardless of a farm’s size or scale, food safety is a priority on every operation. All farmers have an obligation to provide the safest product possible, and while many may think their current practices are sufficient in preventing foodborne illness, there is always new information or research … Read More

From the Field: Iowa Farmers Union Hosts FSMA Field Day

August 31, 2018Blog

By Laura Funk Kopecky, Iowa Farmers Union The sound of insects buzzing filled the air as nearly 20 participants – farmers, Iowa Farmers Union staff, and Iowa State University Extension personnel – crowded curiously around a high tunnel building bursting with the vibrant greens, yellows, and reds of a robust tomato crop. They had gathered … Read More

Flooding and Food Safety: What to Do When Fields Flood

August 15, 2018Blog

Illana Margulis from Levity Farms in Atlanta, Ga., uses her phone’s digital assistant tool to remind her to turn off the farm’s irrigation. Technology can be a useful tool in preventing accidental irrigation pooling. In June, Michelle Danyluk, a professor of food microbiology and safety at the University of Florida, hosted a food safety roundtable … Read More

Georgia Farmers Chat Food Safety

August 6, 2018Blog

By Billy Mitchell, FSMA Training Coordinator Billy Mitchell is the FSMA Training Coordinator for National Farmers Union and one of the newest members of the Local Food Safety Collaborative team. As Training Coordinator, Mitchell travels across the country helping farmers and processors learn about FSMA and what they can do to increase food safety on … Read More

FDA Adds More States to State Cooperative Agreement Program (State CAP)

July 25, 2018Blog

By Chelsea Matzen,  FSMA Project Director  On July 12, 2018, the FDA announced that it is expanding the State Produce Implementation Cooperative Agreement Program for the upcoming fiscal year, bringing the total number of states receiving funding to 46, plus one territory. Added states and territory include: American Samoa, Hawaii, Kentucky, and Mississippi. Also known … Read More

Vegetable Growers Get Ready to Meet New Food Safety Rule

July 19, 2018Blog

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2018 edition of Organic Broadcaster.  By Bailey Webster If you’re a veggie farmer, you know it’s coming. Whether you’re the proactive type or the bury-your-head-in-the-sand type, the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule is likely to affect you in the near future. The good news … Read More

What the Harmonized GAP FSMA Alignment Means for Growers

June 13, 2018Blog

By Chelsea Matzen, FSMA Project Director On June 5, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and U.S Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a joint effort to simplify produce safety requirements for farmers by aligning the USDA Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Audit Program with the requirements of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA’s) Produce … Read More

Soil Amendments and Produce – What’s Your Risk?

March 23, 2018Blog

By Hannah Ruth Tabler, NFU Intern Soil amendments are a common way to improve the development of produce. While they may help your plants grow and reduce soil erosion, they can also present a safety risk. By assessing soil amendments and implementing a safety plan, growers can avoid contamination of their produce. The term “soil … Read More

Animals and Produce Safety

February 28, 2018Blog

  By Hannah Ruth Tabler, NFU Intern Animals are an essential part of many farms; however, gone unchecked they can potentially be a route for produce contamination. The FDA’s new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has a number of rules, but the Produce Safety Rule directly discusses animals on-farm. It sets forth guidelines for growers … Read More

Is Your Farm Food Safe?

February 21, 2018Blog

By Sherri Dugger, Indiana Farmers Union Indiana Farmers Union believes in building strong local and regional food systems. These food systems help farmers and food producers maintain strong and transparent relationships with their customers. They also contribute to resilient local economies, to rural development, and environmental sustainability. Did you know, for instance, that research shows … Read More

FSMA Exclusions

August 18, 2017Blog

By Barbara Patterson, NFU Director of Government Relations, and Roger Noonan, New England Farmers Union President A few weeks ago, we shared the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Needs Assessment Survey. This week, we will cover another FSMA-related topic: what is excluded or exempt from the Produce Safety Rule, which sets regulatory standards for the … Read More

FDA releases much-anticipated food safety rules

January 9, 2013Blog

By Mike Stranz, NFU Government Relations Representative It’s been two years since President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – the biggest change to food safety laws in the last seventy years. It wasn’t until last week, however, that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released two proposed rules that will provide enforcement … Read More