Farmers are invited to Apply: UMass Extension and MA Department of Agricultural Resources encourage farmers who grow specialty crops with an interest in value-added processing to apply for this scholarship opportunity to participate in Better Process Control School. The primary objective of this scholarship is to increase the food safety processing skills for farmers interested in producing shelf stable low-acid and acidified specialty crops (examples include: acidified foods, glass container closures, retorting, etc.).
Course Date: January 6-9, 2014 from 7:30AM to 5PM
Location: UMass Amherst, Campus Center
Tuition Fee for Scholarship Participant: $150
Please note: Tuition fee includes administrative costs, course materials, continental breakfast & lunch. Students are responsible for their own meals and lodging outside of the class.
Producing healthy, convenient and safe value-added processed foods is a way to further extend specialty crops throughout the year and provide new product offerings to consumers. However, in order to produce safe, quality foods, there are a variety of core food safety principals that need to be identified and controlled when processing. Through the support of the MDAR Specialty Crop Block grant, UMass Food Science Extension invite 10 specialty crop farmers that are interested in producing value-added products to participate in a 3.5 day course, “Better Process Control School” to learn the key food safety processing fundamentals.
By law, all commercial processors, when first engaging in the manufacturing, processing, or packing of low acid or acidified foods in any state must register with the FDA on Form FDA 2541 (Food Canning Establishment Registration; 21 CFR 108.25). In order to be approved as a registered process, businesses need to operate with a certified supervisor on the premise when processing.
Better Process Control School offers instruction which fulfills the FDA and USDA Good Manufacturing Practice requirements to certify supervisors of acidification, thermal processing and container closure evaluation operations during the canning of low-acid or acidified foods. Throughout the course six basic topics will be covered and with a passing score that will be acknowledged through a certificate.
Application: All interested applicants are required to contact Amanda Kinchla, Food Science Extension via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by fax: 413.545.1262. Participants must meet all of the requirements listed in the “Eligibility” section of this form. Each applicant must include the following information:
Please have your applications returned no later than December 28th, 2014 by 5pm.
Details about the full program can be found at: https://umass.irisregistration.com/Home/Site?code=BPCS.
WEST WAREHAM – Progressive Grower is honored to sponsor Christmas wreaths for the graves of veterans at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne, Mass. By supporting Wreaths Across America’s efforts to honor veterans this December, Progressive Grower hopes to play a small part in addressing the massive deficit in donations for wreaths from previous years. Wreaths will be laid during the Dec. 13 National Wreaths Across America Day ceremony.
Coordinated by non-profit Wreaths Across America, the event will feature speeches by Gold Star parents and end with hundreds of volunteers adorning graves in veterans’ cemeteries across the country and in Arlington, VA. With more than 58,000 grave sites at the Bourne cemetery, there are never enough wreaths to cover all of the graves. Every year, different sections of the cemetery are chosen for wreath placement so that eventually every veteran’s grave is adorned. Wreaths Across America’s mission of Remember, Honor, Teach, is carried out in part by organizing wreath laying ceremonies each December at veterans’ cemeteries in all 50 states and beyond. With no government funding, the cost of programs is paid by individual wreaths sponsors, corporate donors and volunteer truckers.
Progressive Grower is a family owned business located in West Wareham offering a variety of agricultural supplies, including landscaping, greenhouse, outdoor gear and clothing. By focusing on customer service and expert product knowledge, Progressive Grower caters to professional growers and homeowners alike with a level of attention hard to find in “big box” chain stores.
For more information about Progressive Grower, visit the store at 81 Charlotte Furnace Road in West Wareham (just past the Wareham Crossing shopping mall), online at progressivegrower.com or contact the store at 508-273-7358.
With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away, I thought it would be a great to share a quick recipe that should be on every kitchen table!
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Plimoth Plantation Farmers Market. At the market, I was set up in the same room as the cooking demonstration, so I learned how to make a quick and easy cranberry sauce. Melissa from Fresh Meadows Farm put on the demonstration. Fresh Meadow Farm is located in Carver and one of the only certified organic cranberry growers in the state. Although Melissa’s farm stand is closed for the season, you can still find her berries through several local restaurants, markets, CSAs, and bakeries or you can call her to place an order . Not in Carver? Cranberries can be found all over the state. Massachusetts is the 2nd largest producer in the USA aside from Wisconsin. With almost 12,000 acres of bogs in Plymouth county alone, it’s easy to find farm fresh berries around here!
I’ve cooked with cranberries before, but I’ve never made a cranberry sauce. If I had known it was so easy, it would have become a staple on my table years ago. I started with 2 cups of cranberries. These cranberries were placed in a saucepan with ½ cup of sugar (white or brown are both tasty), a few tablespoons of water, and the juice of ½ a lemon. Keep this on medium to high heat for several minutes, stirring occasionally. The cranberries will begin to burst after a few minutes. Just keep cooking and stirring as the cranberries are bursting and the sauce will begin to thicken. Once the sauce had reached a good consistency, you can remove from the heat. I didn’t use exact measurements, and my sauce came out a little thin. This is easily fixed by adding more cranberries or even just a little bit of flour. I found that this is a recipe that can be played with. Some people like cranberry sauce really sweet, and others prefer something a little more tart. This is all controlled by you! Feel free to change things to suit your family’s taste buds. Maybe add some fresh orange juice instead of lemon or a little bit of cinnamon for a nice spicy taste. There are plenty of different recipes out there. Not a fan of whole berry sauce? Jellied is simple enough to make too.
I hope you’ll take advantage of the abundance of cranberries grown right in our backyard. Have a happy Thanksgiving!
Introduction to HACCP
December 2-4, 2014, UMass Campus Center, Amherst, MA
Course: This course covers the fundamentals of HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) taught by certified International HACCP Alliance instructors. This particular course will have an emphasis on fresh-cut produce, beverages (including juice and cider), baked goods, and dairy products. The concepts will be reinforced by breakout group activities in which participants will have the opportunity to prepare a HACCP plan. All participants will received an International HACCP Alliance certificate issued through the University of Massachusetts upon successful completion of the course. Register here
Better Process Control School
Course: This course will train food processors principles of acidifications, and container closure evaluation programs for low-acid and acidified canned foods as required by FDA regulations in CFR 108, 113 and 114. The purpose of these regulations is to help ensure the safety of consumers by training producers. This course will satisfy both USDA and FDA requirements. Better Process Control School will be taught by faculty members from the Department of Food Science at UMass Amherst. Dr. Sam Nugen, Dr. Julie Goddard, Dr. McLandsborough and Extension Specialist Amanda Kinchla, M.S, bring together academic and industry experience as well as expertise in food microbiology, processing and packaging. This event is sponsored by UMass Extension, UMass Department of Food Science and Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA Science). Register here
MA Farm Scholarship
If you are a MA grower that produces specialty crops there is a scholarship opportunity available. Please contact Amanda Kinchla for details and application: email@example.com