Register Now for Extension’s Postharvest Handling Workshop for Farmers

Posted On March 15, 2017— Written By
worker packing fresh cut flowers

Postharvest handling at Harland’s Creek Farm. Photo by Debbie Roos.


UPDATE March 21: This workshop is FULL.

Do you have questions about…

  • maximizing the quality of your fruits and vegetables through your postharvest practices?
  • adhering to food safety recommendations and National Organic Program requirements?
  • minimizing food safety risks in the packinghouse?

If so, you are not alone! Join us for a day long workshop where we will focus on postharvest management practices that can help you get the longest shelf-life for your products while making sure all the food safety boxes are checked. The workshop will include sessions at a local farm! In addition to learning the best postharvest management practices, participants will leave with a grower kit valued at more than $300 to help them implement what they learn on the farm!

WHEN: Thursday, April 6th, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center in Pittsboro, NC

Breakfast and lunch will be catered by Angelina’s Kitchen and highlight local foods.


8:30-9:00 a.m.   Check-in and breakfast

9:00-9:15 a.m.   Welcome and introductions
Debbie Roos, Chatham County Cooperative Extension

9:15-9:45 a.m.   Know your enemies: pathogens associated with produce
Faith Critzer, University of Tennessee

9:45-10:45 a.m.  Keeping a clean (packing)house: eliminating the risk of packinghouse cross-contamination
Annette Wszelaki, University of Tennessee

10:45-11:00 a.m.   Break

11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m.   Blue ribbon produce: postharvest practices to get the longest shelf-life from your crops
Penelope Perkins-Veazie, North Carolina State University

11:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.   Local Resource for Making Value-added Products: Piedmont Food and Agriculture Processing Facility
Eric Hallman, Piedmont Food and Agriculture Processing Facility

12:00-1:00 p.m.   Networking lunch

1:00-1:30 p.m.  When, where, why, and how: sanitizer application for postharvest water
Faith Critzer, University of Tennessee

1:30-2:00 p.m.   National Organic Program standards for postharvest sanitizers
Annette Wszelaki, University of Tennessee

2:00-2:30 p.m.   Travel to Granite Springs Farm

2:30-3:00 p.m.   Farm tour

3:00-4:00 p.m.   Putting the right tools in the toolbox: packinghouse management and sanitizer application in postharvest water (hands-on)

4:00-4:40 p.m.   Return to Pittsboro

REGISTRATION: This workshop is FULL.

ABOUT THE PROJECT: A group of researchers and extension professionals at NC State University and the University of Tennessee have been collaborating on a project focusing on postharvest washing in organic fruit and vegetable operations, which was supported by the USDA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative. The team’s research has focused on evaluating experimental essential-oil based compounds for their antimicrobial activity in produce washing as an alternative to traditional compounds such as chlorine. Our outreach efforts are centered on helping growers implement food safety best practices in their packinghouse.