Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) will be leading food safety reviews of farms that have volunteered. An Extension representative will assist MDA. These will start in early July and continue into the fall, as long as vegetables are being harvested. The goal is to conduct about 20 of these at a variety of locations across the state. A farm or two near the larger produce auctions are likely to be included. They will continue in 2019, will start earlier in the season and more should occur.
Officially, these visits are called 'On Farm Readiness Reviews' (OFRR) and anyone conducting them went through a national training. In Missouri those individuals are Bart Hawcroft, Ken Struemph (with MDA), Lindsey Pender (LU Extension), Pat Byers and James Quinn (MU Extension). We hope to get more trained soon. The farm review takes about 4 hours and a light harvest day is preferred. The benefit to the farmer who volunteers for this is they receive a practice inspection to help them prepare for any future one. MDA is not conducting any FSMA inspections in 2018, but will start in 2019. An OFRR is considered confidential, in that any notes taken during the process are given to the farmer; none leave the farm with MDA. Neither MDA nor Extension will invite others on an OFRR. The farmer who has volunteered may invite others [e.g. neighboring farmer(s), family members, etc.] to follow along and learn what a FSMA inspection will cover. If you would like to have an OFRR in 2018 or 2019, call MDA at 573-751-8558.
REVISED: February 21, 2017