DATCP: Buy Local Buy Wisconsin to host post-harvest handling workshops in early January

Contact: Kenny Monroe (608) 224-5112 [email protected]

MADISON – The Buy Local Buy Wisconsin Workshop Roadshow will host workshops titled “Post-Harvest Handling for Vegetable Production Quality and Success” in three locations in January.

The workshops will be in Oconomowoc Wednesday, Jan. 6; Viroqua Thursday, Jan. 7; and Eau Claire Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Fresh fruit and vegetable growers are invited to join farmers/educators Atina Diffley and Laura Frerichs for an in-depth look at the tools, techniques, and philosophies used to pack quality produce with long shelf life. Areas covered include pre-harvest considerations; respiration and harvest; cooling, cleaning, packaging, and sorting produce; pack areas, storage, delivery and marketing. Hands-on activities will include creating post-harvest plans for various crops and trouble shooting videos of post-harvest operations. Attending this workshop will provide tools to increase profitability, produce quality and food safety, reputation in the market and economic success.

Award-winning organic vegetable farmer Atina Diffley will lead the workshop, drawing from her extensive experience in vegetable farming and agricultural consulting, in partnership with Laura Frerichs, co-owner/operator of certified organic fresh-market vegetable farm Loon Organics, farm consultant, and regular educational presenter.

The cost to attend the workshop in Oconomowoc or Viroqua is $20 per person. This includes all workshop materials, lunch, and refreshments. The Eau Claire workshop will take place as a part of the 12th Annual Value Added Agriculture Conference (details and registration price will vary).

For more information and to register for the workshops or the conference, go to http://www.datcp.state.wi.us, look under “online services,” and click on the “Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Workshop Registration” link. Information and registration materials are also available by contacting Kenny Monroe, [email protected], phone 608-224-5112.

Additional Buy Local Buy Wisconsin workshops will be offered in early 2010, including Food Safety on the Market Farm, Quickbooks 101 for Farmers, and Making Decisions about Local Food Sales Opportunities Using the Holistic Management Framework.