The distance from farm to school is a lot shorter at North Stokes High School in Danbury. The school’s agricultural program recently became the first in the state to receive the Good Agricultural Practices certification. This means that lettuce and other fruits and vegetables grown on the school’s farm and in greenhouses by students can now be served in the school cafeteria.
Farms selling produce to schools must be GAP-certified under state Department of Public Instruction rules, but DPI is not alone in requiring this. More and more grocery stores, restaurants and retail locations are also requiring GAP certification. Food safety is at the core of these requirements, and that includes the ability to trace the crop forward and back.
So the students in Ben Hall’s horticulture and livestock ag programs are a step ahead of farmers who have not yet embraced GAP certification. Plus, they are learning what is required if you want to market produce today. That education could serve the students well if any of them decide on a career in farming, Troxler says.
Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss GAP certification at North Stokes High School.
[Audio:http://info.ncagr.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/Troxler_4-22.mp3|titles=Today’s Topic for April 22]
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