Who We Work With

The Local Food Safety Collaborative is a collaboration between the National Farmers Union Foundation and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Our partners and subrecipients are committed to bringing Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) outreach, education and training to local producers and processors across the nation.


Brian Fink J.D.

Brian Fink, J. D. received his law degree from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and is currently a food and beverage attorney practicing in the greater New York City area. He has co-authored legal guides on many issues facing small to mid-scale farmers, such as business formation, taxation, community kitchens, and food safety. Brian has contributed public comments to the FDA on the Produce Safety and Preventive Controls Rules. As part of LFSC, he developed a guide to help small and mid-sized processors navigate FSMA’s Preventive Controls Rule (PCR). Drawing from the Food Safety Modernization Act regulations, FDA guidance for industry, FDA enforcement actions, and other sources, this guide will be a go-to reference designed specifically for farms who produce value-added products.

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) is a 40-year old, member-based, farmer-driven non-profit organization serving small and mid-scale farms and food businesses in North and South Carolina. They were actively involved drafting language pertaining to FSMA that created some scale-appropriate exemptions for small, local food farms and businesses. As a LFSC subrecipient, CFSA is developing a series of FAQ sheets and an interactive online decision tool for small to mid-scale producers/processors to better understand if FSMA’s Preventive Controls Rule (PCR) applies to their businesses. These resources will empower producers/processors to explain to their employees and to regulators what aspects of FSMA apply to the foods that they produce and/or process. Check out CFSA’s impressive FSMA + Food Safety Resource Hub!


Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is a California-based nonprofit that builds sustainable food and farming systems through local and statewide policy advocacy and on-the-ground programs that create more resilient family farms, communities, and ecosystems. Over the last seven years (and counting!) CAFF has conducted over 120 workshops on food safety, reaching nearly 3,000 farmers and assisting over 250 farmers with customized on-farm food safety plans. As an LFSC subrecipient, CAFF has performed on-farm food safety consultations with produce farmers, hosted FSMA 101 workshops, and brought food safety education to Instagram and The Farmer’s Beet podcast. Check out CAFF’s Food Safety Resource page (in English y Español)!


Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is home to the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) and some of the world’s leading experts in food safety. Elizabeth Bihn, Ph.D., Sr. Extension Associate, Executive Director of the Institute for Food Safety, and Director of the Produce Safety Alliance and the National Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Program, serves on LFSC’s Steering Committee to help guide the project’s work. As a partner to LFSC, Dr. Bihn and her team conducted a nationwide needs assessment that analyzes the needs of local producers and processors in regards to FSMA and food safety education. Visit the Produce Safety Alliance website for a wealth of resources and to view a listing of PSA Grower Trainings near you!


 

Florida Organic Growers (FOG) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation established in 1987. FOG operates two programs: Education & Outreach and Quality Certification Services (QCS). As the largest certifier on the United States eastern seaboard, QCS meets the needs of operations regardless of type, location, or size. As a subrecipient of LFSC, FOG’s Education & Outreach Program provided Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Trainings to produce farmers in Florida and the Southeast. Ramkrishnan Balasubramanian, Executive Director, also serves as a member of the LFSC Steering Committee.

Formed in 2015, Hawaii Farmers Union Foundation (HFUF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents each of Hawaii’s four counties. HFUF’s primary purpose is to support the sovereign right of farmers to create and sustain vibrant and prosperous agricultural communities for the benefit of all Hawaii Nei, including future generations, through various scientific, educational and charitable activities. As a LFSC subrecipient, HFUF collaborated with over 20 organizations to ensure that produce farmers across the Islands had access to produce safety information that met their needs, i.e. preventing spread of rat lung-worm. Educational activities were also adapted to meet the needs of Native growers.


Indiana Farmers Union (INFU) works to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life of family farmers. INFU is home to producers who are committed to conserving the state’s natural bounty, whether they are long-established or beginning their agricultural journey. INFU’s membership is as diverse as the agricultural landscape in Indiana and includes grain farmers, vegetable growers, fruit growers, livestock farmers and dairy farmers. As a LFSC subrecipient, INFU partnered with many agencies, Universities and community-based organizations to promote Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower trainings and provided stipends for farmers to offset cost of attendance and increase state-wide participation!

Iowa Farmers Union (IAFU) is a grassroots-member organization of family farmers and ranchers, advocates, and consumers committed to promoting family agriculture in Iowa. IAFU recognizes that education and leadership development are essential to its success and the growth of its Union. They offer a variety of youth and adult educational and leadership opportunities for our members each year. As a LFSC subrecipient, IAFU held “FSMA Field Days” at which farmers were invited to working farms where experts spoke on specific FSMA-related requirements or best practices and showed examples of how these topics could be incorporated on the farm. Farmer to farmer learning encouraged!


Kansas Farmers Union Foundation supports education on rural and agricultural issues and provides resources for rural economic and cooperative development. Through KFUF, Kansas Farmers Union brings important educational and networking opportunities to all Kansans. As a LFSC subrecipient, KFUF hosted Farm Tour Series each year of the project. Groups of farmers bussed to three different farm operations on each farm tour to learn about how these operations followed FSMA as it related to that farm’s activities. They visited vertical farms, hydroponic farms, farms that were processing, farms with licensed kitchens, organic operations, U-pick, and everything in-between!

The Kentucky Horticulture Council (KHC) is a 501(c)-5 non-profit organization established to support the horticulture industry in Kentucky. KHC was founded in 1990 when leaders in Kentucky horticulture realized the various industry segments needed a unified voice when communicating needs and opportunities to legislators, state agencies, and universities. As a 2019 LFSC subrecipient, KHC created the Kentucky Ag Water Quality Testing Pilot Program  to train Kentucky produce farmers on food safety basics and sampling of agriculture water sources for production and post-harvest use. KHC also began briefing water testing laboratories on what to expect from farmers. KHC is committed to helping Kentucky growers increase farm revenue by building capacity, ensuring regulation compliance, managing farm risk, and enabling access to new markets.


 

Lake County Community Development (LCCDC) cultivates economic growth in western Montana by offering unique resources to develop community, business and food and agriculture enterprises.  LCCDC collaborates with partners to provide businesses with technical assistance, education, and financial support related to planning, management, marketing, government contracting, accounting, and food processing. LCCDC runs Montana’s only inspected food hub, providing resources to food and agriculture businesses including regulatory expertise, business planning assistance, food production, and storage infrastructure. As a LFSC subrecipient, LCCDC partnered with numerous agencies and Universities in the region to bring customized workshops to Native tribes, host PCQI trainings for all types of processors, host Truck Tailgate food safety Trainings in parking lots (15 minute round-ups), assist producers to conduct self-audits, and provided numerous consultations to farmers to help them understand what regulatory requirements they had to comply with and what certifications/audits made the most sense for their operations. LCCDC created an online Evaluation tool to assess regulatory compliance and an online Risk Self-Assessment tool for Montana producers, both available here.

Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) provides leadership and support to agriculture and the citizens of Maryland by conducting regulatory, service, and educational activities that assure consumer confidence, protect the environment and promote agriculture. MDA’s vision is to achieve excellence in programs and in services that preserve and protect agricultural resources and the environment, promote profitable agriculture and consumer confidence, and enhance the quality of life for all Marylanders. Deanna Baldwin, Chief of MDA’s Food Quality Assurance Program, is a member of the LFSC Steering Committee.


Michigan Farmers Union (MIFU) MIFU advocates sustainable production of food, fiber and feed and has been the voice of family farmers, rural residents and consumers across the Great Lakes State since its founding. As a LFSC subrecipient, partnered with many agencies, Universities, and community-based organizations to host Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower trainings and subsequent Food Safety Plan Writing workshops!

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) is a nonprofit organization based in Spring Valley, Wisconsin. They promote organic and sustainable agriculture by providing the education, resources and expertise farmers need to succeed.  MOSES manages several projects to support and empower organic farmers as well as advocates for national policies that encourage organic production. As a 2017-2018 LFSC subrecipient, MOSES leveraged its network to promote FSMA awareness, distribute FSMA resources and fact sheets, and host Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower trainings.


Minnesota Farmers Union (MNFU) works to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. MNFU believes that farm policies should guarantee a safe and abundant food supply while providing family farmers with a fair price from the marketplace, not the government. As a LFSC subrecipient, MNFU partnered with agencies, Universities, and community-based organizations to host Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower trainings and increase awareness of FSMA requirements at conferences across the state!

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. NSAC has been developing a Diversified Small Farm Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Training Initiative to target small farms that either are not covered by the Produce Safety Rule (PSR) or are covered but may not have a basic understanding of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) or may be unaware of the PSR. The curriculum will be delivered as part of a continuum of community-based produce safety education programs that together build small farms’ food safety competency and readiness for PSR inspections and audits. The curriculum builds on existing programs that introduce operators of small-scale, limited resource, beginning, and organic/sustainable farmers to the positive reasons for embracing a culture of food safety and implementing food safety practices, and that guide farms through the process of food safety risk assessment.


National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers to ensure their success. NYFC envisions a country where young people who are willing to work, get trained, and take a little risk can support themselves and their families in farming. NYFC supports the apprenticeship model of farmer education and believes that mentorships and alternative farmer-to-farmer learning opportunities should be available to young farmers. NYFC is a main partner for the LFSC project and has two representatives, Cara Fraver, Business Services Director, and Maggie Kaiser, young farmer and Produce Safety Coordinator, who serves on LFSC’s Steering Committee to help guide the project’s work. As a subrecipient, NYFC has piloted countless ways to reach, educate and empower produce farmers of all backgrounds across the country. Video, PSA Grower Trainings, food safety plan writing workshops and webinars, on-farm consultations, and most importantly a Guidebook– written by farmers for farmers– on FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule. Check out all the business services and resources that NYFC has to offer on their website!

New England Farmers Union (NEFU) works to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life of family farmers, fishermen, foresters, nursery growers and consumers in all six New England states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut). Their members engage New England elected officials and public agencies and press them to implement and enforce laws and regulations that will strengthen New England’s agriculture and fisheries. As a main LFSC partner, NEFU conducted outreach and education among local food producers and small-scale processors across New England. Roger Noonan, farmer and NEFU President, advises the LFSC project’s direction, and serves as a member of the LFSC Steering Committee.


North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU) is the largest general farm organization in the state of North Dakota. With more than 45,000 member families, NDFU provides a network of educational programs, services, and events that benefit farmers, ranchers and rural communities. As an innovative and progressive organization, NDFU works to enhance legislation that supports agriculture and the cooperative business model. Each summer, NDFU hosts youth camps that teach leadership skills and co-op education to more than 1,000 youth. As a 2017 LFSC subrecipient, NDFU helped to increase awareness of FSMA, as well as plan and promote PSA Grower Trainings in the state.

Pennsylvania Farmers Union (PFU) is a grassroots, producer-driven organization that believes strong family agriculture is the basis for thriving rural communities. As an LFSC subrecipient, PFU worked to identify and better understand the unique needs of different farm operation types, e.g. urban farms, sustainable farms, etc., in attaining FSMA compliance. PFU hosted Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Trainings, sponsored farmers to become PSA trainers, and created innovative resources to meet the diverse needs of the Pennsylvania farming community. Check out PFU’s videos on mock on-farm food safety audits here (updated link coming soon!).


Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Educational and Charitable Foundation (RMFUF) promotes the well-being of rural communities and the family farmers and ranchers of Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. The Foundation offers leadership training, youth education opportunities, funds and expertise to groups and individuals involved in cooperative enterprises, local food initiatives, and hometown community initiatives. As a LFSC subrecipient, RMFUF partnered with agencies, Universities, and community-based organizations to host Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower trainings and increase awareness of FSMA Produce Safety and Preventive Controls Rules requirements across the region!

Tilth Alliance has a mission is to build an ecologically sound, economically viable and socially equitable food system. As a LFSC subrecipient, Tilth Alliance’s overarching goal is to increase the awareness of FSMA Produce Safety and Preventive Controls Rules for the grower community in Washington State. Through a series of “Farm Walks”, PSA Grower trainings and workshops, Tilth Alliance has successfully showcased how diversified operations are making simple changes to improve food safety. Tilth Alliance continues to champion peer to peer learning!


TUCCA

The United Christian Community Association Incorporated (TUCCA) has served limited-resource, minority, and socially-disadvantaged individuals and communities in Alabama and Mississippi for over 20 years. Raised on a farm, and a native son of Marengo County, Alabama, Andrew Williams, TUCCA CEO, brings over thirty years of USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) experience to LFSC’s Steering Committee. As a LFSC partner, TUCCA, has piloted the Grower Liaison Model (GLM) in some of the most under-served and limited resource farming communities in Alabama and Mississippi. The purpose of the GLM was to create awareness and promote food safety education within the context of the urgent issues that limited resource and socially disadvantaged farmers face. GLM goals: 1) Encourage farmers to take advantage of Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower trainings in the region; 2) Work closely with community groups to identify farms willing to serve as demonstration sites (accessible to farmers) for showcasing farm food safety practices; 3) Provide on-farm infrastructure improvements, one on one consultations to produce farmers; and 4) Work closely with agencies and Universities (gate-keepers to information) to provide on-farm workshops that address food safety within the whole farm health context.

Wisconsin Farmers Union (WIFU), a member-driven organization, committed to enhancing the quality of life for family farmers, rural communities, and all people through educational opportunities, cooperative endeavors, and civic engagement. As a LFSC subrecipient, WIFU partnered with many agencies, Universities and community-based organizations to promote Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower trainings and provided stipends for farmers to offset cost of attendance and increase state-wide participation!