Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Produce growers reminded to take survey, schedule training

By Sean Southard

Frankfort, KY - As planting season begins, Kentucky's produce growers are entering a busy time of year. While producing delicious, nutritious food is the ultimate goal, Kentucky producers always work hard to put safety first.

"Kentucky produce growers are responsible for some of the freshest, nutrient-rich, and delicious products offered in grocery stores, farm stands, and farmers' markets across the state," Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles said. "Part of that is the dedication it takes to keep our food, environment, and people safe. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Produce Safety Rules help growers do exactly that."

In 2011, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act, a law that tasked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with implementing new food safety protocols aimed at increasing food safety across the nation.

Instead of allowing the FDA to inspect Kentucky farms, Commissioner Quarles worked to secure passage of legislation in 2020 which allowed the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) to enter into a state-led program. The KDA's Produce Safety Program helps producers comply with federal regulatory standards for the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of produce.

For Kentucky growers, the first step in the process is to complete the Produce Farm Survey. The survey, which can be completed on-line or via a mail-in-survey card, is a requirement of Kentucky's Produce Safety Regulation for all produce growers regardless of farm size or sales. If you have not already completed this survey, you can do so on-line by visiting the KDA's Produce Safety page on its website.

The survey also helps the department determine if growers are subject to further requirements under the federal Produce Safety Rule. In addition to the survey, fruit and vegetable growers averaging $25,000 or more in annual sales during the previous three years must complete a Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training course.

In partnership with the University of Kentucky, KDA provides free grower training courses to all produce growers through the Department's cooperative agreement grant. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the courses will be online through September. Class sizes are limited and participants must register in advance. For more information on the PSA Grower Training or to register for a course, contact the University of Kentucky Food Systems Innovation Center at (859) 257-1546 or go to the KDA website.

The survey and grower training course help KDA determine if an inspection is required for a produce farm. Kentucky's produce safety statute passed in 2020, eliminates the need for federal inspection of Kentucky produce farms and places inspectional oversight under the KDA Produce Safety Program.

For more specific information regarding the new federal and state requirements for growers, as well as the full text of the federal and state rules noted above, visit the KDA Produce Safety page on the Department's website at

For more information about the survey, the grower trainer course or the inspection process, contact Melissa Rutledge, KDA Education & Outreach Coordinator at (502) 229-4032 or

This story was posted on 2021-05-18 15:46:42
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.