A successful CAP is dependent on establishing a multi-directional flwo of finfromation between the research scientists and the stakeholder communities. As part of our effort to ensure meaningful and effective integrated extenison/outreach and education progams we have included a plan to use a mental models approach to develop and disseminate information on risk and strategies to mitigate risk on vegetable farms. The project team has identified the following critical stakeeholder groups for these extension/outreach acitivities:
- Vegetable producers
- Extension professionals
- Trade organizations
- Government agencies
- Food marketing companies and private standards setting bodies
- Consumers and consumer groups
The project team will engage with these groups through a series of in-depth surveys of the understanding and misconceptions about the implimentation of current GAP metrics. And a number of other methods including: (1) development of training materials and guidance documents, (2) rapid transfer resources, (3) e-Xtension, (4) distance learning centers, (5) conferences, symposia, and public meetings, (6) web resources, (7) user-friendly software, and (8) analytical tools for assessing outreach effectiveness.
Consideration of ecucational needs related to produce safety is a critical component of any integrated proposal. Future advances in produce safety are critically dependent on provideing trans-disciplinary scientists tha have the unique educational foundation needed to address the complex nature of produce safety. The project team has focused its educational efforts on the following groups:
- K-12 instructional activities: while the time is limited to devote produce safety tools in this instructional setting, we would like to develop modular lesson plans for general science and agricultural science teachers to be able to use to supplement their normal curriculum.
- Undergraduate, Graduate and Continuing Education: An upper level undergraduate course that combines the knowledge of horticulture, plant physiology, plant pathology, food science, food microbiology, environmental science, risk analysis and agricultural engineering will be developed. Variations of this course will also be developed to be offered in a modular format for continuing education purposes.