Good Agricultural Practices, or GAP, are buzzwords now for the agricultural industry. There’s always a lot of coverage in the news when a product is recalled or a consumer becomes ill because of contamination. Farmers Market vendors can get GAP training and certified. Those that process food for sale there (salsa, bread, etc.) require even more training and certification.
Now even tobacco growers have to be GAP certified. This isn’t exactly new but it has changed for the 2014 growing season. Not only does this cover how to produce a quality product but also covers the use of migrant and family labor among other aspects that not only affect the product but the people that produce it. Fortunately, now there is only one certification and it works for all the companies buying burley.
Most growers have already registered for GAP and received their training for the production season. For those of you that haven’t yet you have a couple options.
One is to go on-line and register for your card and then attend a tobacco GAP training. The website is https://gapconnections-public.sharepoint.com/. Those that aren’t familiar with the computer can come by the office and I’ll register you and print out your temporary card that you take to the training. You’ll receive the plastic card after a few weeks.
For those that haven’t been trained yet it gets a little more complicated to satisfy that portion. We had our meeting back in January at the Woodford County office but I know not everyone was able to make it.
There are a few more around the state but you may have to drive a bit. There’s one in Bardstown at 2 and 6 p.m. Thursday. Call the Extension Office for details at 502-695-9035.
Last Winter School
Thursday marks the last of our Winter School series for the year. Sharon Flynt, Scott County horticulture agent, will be helping facilitate.
“Pollinator Habitat — An overview of the importance of pollinators and their Habitats” is this week’s topic. This presentation offers an introduction to native pollinators and their global and local importance to agriculture.
It provides tips for recognizing existing habitat and protection of that habitat and opportunities to create or enhance flora resources for a variety of native and domesticated species in a variety of settings.
The speaker will be Casey Shrader, state biologist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.