Extension Offerings

Retail Farm Market School

Farm professionals who handle, process or merchandise fresh market produce for sale via CSA, Farmers Markets, Farm Markets and Farm Stands can participate in Penn State Extension’s Retail Farm Market School, offered this April. This six hour workshop will provide employees with knowledge and skills for responding to preserving product quality and serving customer needs. Topics will include: produce handling, produce quality, produce merchandising, customer service, sanitation, and fresh cut produce. The material is appropriate for new employee training and as a refresher for existing employees.

This program provides a basic understanding of produce science, which will help employees understand and be responsive to consumer needs. Additionally, program participants will be able to provide the highest level of friendly, helpful and skilled service. The course is valuable for anyone who handles, processes, or merchandises fresh market produce. This day-long session includes several educational delivery methods including professionally produced video segments, take-home text, post-harvest handling references, group discussions, hands-on activities and a certification quiz.

Locally, the school will be offered April 24 at the Penn State Extension Office. Cost will be $45, and registration should be completed at allegheny.extension.psu.edu, or call Heather Mikulas, Penn State Cooperative Extension- Allegheny County, at (412) 473-2540.

Food for Profit Class

Have you ever been told that your favorite homemade bread, or salsa, is ?good enough to sell?? Do you have additional fruit or vegetables from your farm or home garden that you would like to make into a commercial product? Penn State Extension?s Food for Profit, is a one-day workshop to help you work through the maze of local and state regulations, food safety issues, and business management concepts that all must be considered in setting up a commercial food business. The course will be held at the Warren County Office of Penn State Extension, 100 Dillon Dr., Youngsville, on Friday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How Can Food for Profit Help Me?

Food for Profit will take you step-by-step through the entrepreneurial process. It will provide you with the information and skills to assess if your idea will be something that will sell at a profit. Conducting a feasibility study (to see if yours is a good business idea), performing marketing research, and beginning to draft a business plan are a few of the concrete tools taught by certified instructors and business experts. By attending this class, you can learn how to evaluate the opportunities on paper before you look for funding or take action (saving money and time).

Who Should Attend the Course?

If you want to develop the skills to be innovative and visionary in your business ? to grow your food venture – you will enjoy and benefit from this course. If you?re searching for innovative ideas about how to get your enterprise off the ground, this program is for you!

Registration Information:

Tuition cost of $45 per person includes all materials and lunch. Pre-registration is required, and may be accomplished on-line at extension.psu.edu/food-safety/entrepreneurs, or by calling the registration coordinator at (717) 270-3491. For further information about workshop content, contact Extension Educator Winifred McGee, wwm1@psu.edu, (717) 270-4391. Pre-payment and registration are required for this popular workshop.

Food Employee

Certification Training

Preventing foodborne illness in a food establishment is the focus of the ServSafe Training Course to be presented by the Penn State Extension on Wednesday, March 20 and 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Penn State Extension Office in Youngsville. The ServSafe exam will be given on March 27 at 1 p.m.

Registration fee is $175 per person. Pre-registration is necessary by March 15. Those who pass the exam at the end of the training receive a certificate from the National Restaurant Association and meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for food safety training. ServSafe certification is valid for five years.

For more information about the class, call Rick Kralj, food safety and quality extension educator, Penn State Cooperative Extension in Jefferson County, at (814) 849-7361. Register by phone at (814) 776-5331.