Produce farmers can now complete the 2020 MDA Grower Questionnaire

Produce farmers can now complete the 2020 MDA Grower Questionnaire
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is asking produce growers to complete an annual Grower Questionnaire. (Source: Associated Press)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced that its annual Grower Questionnaire is now available and encourages produce growers to complete the questionnaire.

The questionnaire will help the MDA determine how the federal Produce Safety Rule (PSR) applies to Minnesota produce operations for the upcoming 2020 growing season.

FSMA Produce Safety Rule: 2020 Annual Grower Questionnaire

This questionnaire is the annual review to determine how the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) applies to your Minnesota produce operation for the upcoming 2020 growing season.

Due to the fact that the sales thresholds that determine a farm’s PSR status are adjusted annually for inflation, the Grower Questionnaire should be completed only once per year per produce farm.

The 2020 questionnaire is available online and can be found on the MDA’s website.

The MDA would like to remind those considering completing the questionnaire that their answers are safeguarded; meaning farm contact and location information are classified as private, nonpublic data.

Participation in this questionnaire is voluntary. However, produce growers who opt out of the questionnaire will be contacted by the MDA Produce Safety Program via email, phone, or in-person to identify their farm status and inspection requirements under the rule.

Fruit and vegetable farmers who grow, pack, harvest and/or hold produce and who do not qualify for an exemption or exclusion from the PSR are required to have at least one employee complete training that uses FDA-recognized curriculum or an equivalent. The MDA Produce Safety Program offers training in conjunction with the University of Minnesota Extension that meets this requirement.

Registration is currently open for winter training sessions throughout the state. Visit the MDA Produce Safety Program website for more information.

Anyone interested in obtaining a paper version of the Grower Questionnaire or more information is asked to contact the MDA Produce Safety program by calling (651) 539-3648 or by emailing producesafety.mda@state.mn.us.

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