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The value of NEED-NERA grants in leveraging substantial external funds Dan Lerner, Ph.D. Associate Dean, UVM Extension Joint Meeting of ESS and CES September 20, 2016. CHRIS CALLAHAN, P.E., M.B.A. Agricultural Engineer Extension Asst. Professor

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  1. The value of NEED-NERA grants in leveraging substantial external fundsDan Lerner, Ph.D.Associate Dean, UVM ExtensionJoint Meeting of ESS and CESSeptember 20, 2016

  2. CHRIS CALLAHAN, P.E., M.B.A Agricultural Engineer Extension Asst. Professor Harvest and post-harvest processing equipment and systems Systems and process engineering Thermal processes and heat transfer Greenhouse energy efficiency and renewable energy Oilseed processing and farm-scale biodiesel production

  3. THE REGIONAL SITUATION Increased interest in regional food production for regional consumption has sparked interest among growers in: (1) increased operational scale; (2) value-added processing; (3) season extension via winter crop storage. Food producers in the Northeast need strong, consistent, knowledgeable postharvest technical assistance to improve food quality while also pursuing enterprise scale-up, efficiency & profitability.

  4. NE-PHRESHNortheast Postharvest Research and Extension Service Hub • Disparate opinions, accuracy and location of knowledge. Overlapping and non-coordinated effort in region. • Lacking regional relevance and research base. • Used a NEED/NERA Planning Grant ($4k) to focus on postharvest research and educational needs. Together! • Food Safety was identified as a priority • FDA Regional Center Awards identified as a collaborative opportunity to make some progress.

  5. NEED-NERA GRANT The NEED/NERA grant funded a planning project, “Toward a Regional Postharvest Research and Extension Center for the Northeast.” It was aimed at fostering Northeast regional collaboration. Three key areas of work were identified as having likely benefit to the region: • regionally specific postharvest guidance • research-based and data driven operations • increased enterprise productivity

  6. Whiteboard picture from 1/29/16 NE-PHRESH Planning Meeting With thanks to Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension

  7. Postharvest Defined The part we plan to focus on…for now. Everything after it leaves the packhouse {not in scope right now} Everything before it is harvested {not in scope right now} Food Safety Certifications GAP’s, FSMAState GAP’s Alt’s Tracking and TraceabilityCold Custody The Pack House Infrastructure – layout, design, materials, heat, light, ergonomics, regs, sanitization. Washing – systems, water quality (in/out), sanitizers/detergents, testing/monitoring Curing, Trimming, Packaging – optimal conditions, systems/equipment, containers, packaging, totes. Storage – structure, envelope, materials, systems, monitoring, physiology, conditions, year round Cross Cutting Topics Economics / Ergonomics / Food Waste Management / Health-Comfort-Happiness / Outreach and Education / Postharvest Pathology / Postharvest Physiology Record Keeping / Food Safety / “How To” Based on discussion 2015 01 29 Amherst MA

  8. PROPOSAL TO FDA • FDA Regional Center RFP: April 2015 • NE-PHRESH team considered a joint app • Three other apps were proposed in the Northeast, from other LGUs • NE-PHRESH hosted a teleconference with these parties – examined each proposal, then developed a single, regional proposal to represent the whole region

  9. The Food Safety Modernization Act • Produce Safety (PS)Producers • science-based, minimum standards for safe production / harvesting of fruits and vegetables.  • considers naturally occurring hazards, and others unintentional or intentional, • soil amendments, hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animals in the growing area and water. • Preventive Controls (PC) Processors • evaluating hazards that could affect food safety • specifying preventive steps, or controls, to significantly minimize or prevent the hazards, • specifying how facility will monitor these controls, • maintaining routine records of the monitoring, and • specifying what actions the facility will take to correct problems that arise. From FDA’s “Background on FSMA” - http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm239907.htm

  10. FDA GRANT AWARDED! • February 2016: $950,000 over three years • Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety, or NECAFS. One of four such regional centers in the nation.

  11. NECAFS OVERVIEW Coordinate regional training, education and outreach related to food safety compliance (FSMA) Provide Training / Certification support of LGU and partner staff and faculty. Mini-grants to support agile, laser focus on emergent research questions related to the roll-out of FSMA. Establish formalized network for regionally coordinated research and extension work related to post-harvest. >>Collaborative research, sharing of resources, multi-state effort and impact! What is the next big thing? We’ll be ready with momentum

  12. 12 States and DC. Project partners at other Land Grant Universities (LGU’s), State Agencies / Departments, Trade Associations, Not For Profits (NFP’s). 36 proposal partners, 63 letters of support. Current email list is at 160. Project Principal Investigators / Directors (PI/PD’s). (L to R) – Luke LaBorde (Penn State), Amanda Kinchla (UMass), Chris Walsh (UMD), Betsy Bihn (Cornell), Chris Callahan (UVM, lead). PI Meeting at UMD in College Park, MD. May 2016.

  13. Breaking news… NECAFS Administrator hired! Elizabeth Newbold • Cornell / American U / Vermont Law School • Work: USDA / Cornell CE • Based in Central NY

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