United Fresh Urges Members to Take USDA Training

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United Fresh Produce Association here is encouraging its members and other in the produce industry to register for the 2007 Produce Inspection Training Program.

Developed by the United Research & Education Foundation, in partnership with U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS), the two-part program offers a comprehensive overview of USDA inspection procedures and standards through lab training courses, classroom lectures, and discussion sessions with USDA trainers.

"This course is a unique opportunity for private industry and the government to work together to gain a better understanding of the complexities of the produce inspection system," said Robert Keeney, Deputy Administrator, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, USDA-AMS. "Based on the popularity of this program in years past, we anticipate another successful series in 2007."

The Produce Inspection Training Program is divided into two specialized courses: Introduction to Produce Inspection and Advanced Produce Inspection. New for 2007, each course will include the five most commonly requested commodities: grapes, lettuces, potatoes, strawberries, and tomatoes. In addition, each course will be customized with up to 10 additional commodities based on the attendees' preferences.

"Understanding different grades, standards, quality and condition of produce commodities are fundamental to understanding the entire inspection process," said Victoria Kuhns, United Fresh s.v.p./member services & foundation. "This course provides real information, real training, and real-world knowledge."

Course dates are as follows: April 16-20; June 18-22; and September 24-28.

Attendees may register for the training seminars on the United Fresh Web site at www.unitedfresh.org or by contacting Beth Berman, education manager, at (202) 303-3400 ext 405 or [email protected].
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