front page of the book2020 Reporting Book

Find out what's been happening in all twelve states in the 2020 reporting book.  Each page highlights key accomplishments in a state and includes one of our success stories.  NCR partners have been busy! 
You can also find evaluation data at the end of the report and lots of pictures of our gatherings. 
Read the reporting book.


first page of the summary of the surveyPSA Training One-Year Follow-up Survey

The impact of Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings in eight North Central Region states was evaluated in January 2020. Between October 2018 and June 2019, 926 participants attended a training in one of those states. They were invited to participate in the survey.  
Read the regional results.
Read the two-page summary.



page one of the Year One report        

NCR FSMA Year One Report 

Download the Year One (of USDA funding) Report.



Success Stories

As part of the National Collaborative initiative, NCR FSMA is tasked with developing national success stories related to FSMA in partnership with the Lead Regional Center and the Northeast Regional Center. Regardless of where you are in the country, we are seeking your help to develop these success stories.

computer screen with eight participants in an online meeting

NCR FSMA partners draw upon their network to move trainings to remote delivery during COVID 19 pandemic

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings are some of the many events that the coronavirus pandemic has affected.  When it became clear that in-person trainings couldn’t safely be held for many weeks, the PSA staff decided to temporarily allow remote delivery of the grower training

group of educators, regulators, and FDA staff at the ISU composting facility

Biological Soil Amendments of Animal Origin Conference

The FDA Produce Safety Network collaborated with the NCR FSMA Center and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to develop a 1.5 day conference and tour in Iowa to discuss biological soil amendments of animal origin.

packing shed area

Farmer finds DATCP inspectors to be helpful partners in meeting FSMA requirements

Harmony Valley Farm (HVF) is a 120-acre farm in Wisconsin that sells certified organic vegetables. They recently hosted the Wisconsin Produce Safety Advisory Council.

two horses pulling a plow through a field

Mennonite vegetable farmer serves as liaison between Plain community growers and state and federal agencies

LaVern Zeiset, who grows 25 acres of vegetables and has dairy cows, represents Wisconsin on a committee of Plain growers who help the FDA understand their community's unique concerns.

Don Stoeckel leads a group discussion

Produce Safety Alliance and NCR FSMA Collaborate on Produce Safety

The Produce Safety Alliance and the North Central Region FSMA Center (NCR FSMA) have a history of complementary efforts to help coordinate activities and strengthen produce safety outreach programs in each state.

Londa Nwadike leads a session at the NCR annual conference

Two States, One Mission

Dr. Londa Nwadike currently serves as the State Extension Food Safety Specialist for both Kansas State and the University of Missouri.  
Cal Jamerson is the state extension produce safety associate in Kansas.  He explained, “because Londa is the coordinator of produce safety Extension work in both states, this increases our operational knowledge of each other.  We have two state approaches trying to solve a problem, instead of just one.  When one state has good ideas, the other state hear about it.”


display of resources by Safe Produce Indiana

Collaboration in Indiana Serves Produce Growers

The Indiana Department of Agriculture, the Indiana State Department of Health, and Purdue Extension collaborate under the umbrella of Safe Produce Indiana.  As JoAnna Beck, a produce safety supervisor with the Department of Health said, this “gives growers a lot of resources and people they can trust and turn to when they have questions.”

PSA manual in a binder

Educating Plain Growers

Plain community growers are generally concentrated in small areas. Bringing trainings to their communities can generate large audiences for trainings if an educator has built a relationship with the community

The Buske's

Buske and Puffer

Farmers are learning that the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule is not a burden, as they expected. Mike Buske has been growing vegetables commercially for nearly 20 years. While he admits that the idea of the government regulations could take the fun out of farming, so far FSMA has not been a burden. “As long as they keep the rules reasonable, it shouldn’t cost much more than what we’re doing,” he said.

group of growers demonstrating a hand washing station

Farmers as Trainers

In the State of Minnesota, farmers are trainers for Produce Safety Alliance Growers Training. Some fruit and vegetable growers are required to take this course to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act, but most of them are not required to take the course.

Brooks and Mai

Brooks and Mai

Jamerson held a review at their farm, and a few other farmers attended as well. As a result, Brooks and Mai immediately made some changes to improve their food safety practices. “I stopped washing my greens,” says Brooks. Previously, they had washed salad greens and spinach in a bin of water and then spun them dry. During the on-farm review, they learned that washing their greens using the same tub of water can spread contamination. Jamerson suggested that they sell their greens unwashed, if possible, or rinse them over a grate. In this way, water washes through, so that if something is contaminated it does not contaminate the whole bin.  

Shepard's greenhouse under a cloudy sky

Shephard's Farm

For some growers, the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training is their first introduction to the resources that are available to fruit and vegetable growers through Extension. The Food Safety Modernization Act, passed by congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2011, requires produce growers to attend an approved food safety course and the PSA Grower Training is the first approved course. Jim Shephard attended a training offered by the University of Missouri Extension.

Detroit Meeting

The first face-to-face gathering held for partners of the North Central Region Center for FSMA Training, Extension, and Technical Assistance (NCR FSMA) was a grassroots effort organized by two prominent partners: Phil Tocco (Michigan State University Extension) and Don Stoeckel (Produce Safety Alliance).  During the summer off-season, new information about the Produce Safety Rule was released, and teams had time to develop new classroom activities to do a better job of educating growers.


Annual Evaluation Report

Read the Annual Evaluation Report that was released in January 2020.  It covers the first year of funding through the USDA.


This project was originally supported by an FDA grant and is now supported by a USDA grant.  Read the Outcomes of the FDA grant.


This work is supported by the Food Safety Outreach Program [grant no. 2018-70020-28877] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.