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Virginia Tech: Good Agricultural Practices

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Amber Vallotton, fresh produce food safety coordinator with Virginia Cooperative Extension, assisted Mike Calhoun of Stover Shop Greenhouses in Churchville, Virginia, in acquiring his Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification. GAP certification is a nationwide program that is being promoted in the commonwealth by Extension’s Fresh Produce Food Safety team at Virginia Tech to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the fresh produce food supply chain. This certification allowed Calhoun to expand his lettuce-growing business to large retailers. Certification is not the program’s only goal, however. Vallotton and her team are seeking to foster a fresh produce food safety culture in Virginia from farm to fork regardless of whether or not farmers pursue GAP certification.