CLEAR SPRING — A training workshop for on-farm poultry and rabbit slaughter and processing scheduled for Tuesday at Clear Spring Town Hall has sold out.
There are two more workshops in Maryland — in Annapolis on Saturday, March 12, and Wednesday, March 16, in Cambridge.
To help farmers meet growing consumer demand for local meats, the Maryland Department of Agriculture in partnership with the University of Maryland and Washington County Agriculture Marketing Department will conduct the training workshops.
The workshops are part of a voluntary certification program to assist small poultry and rabbit operations to meet the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's approved source requirements to sell poultry and/or rabbit (off-farm) at farmers markets or to restaurants and retailers in Maryland.
Workshop participants will learn to recognize diseases of public health concern, take basic biosecurity measures, write and implement basic Standard Sanitary Operating Procedures, develop Good Manufacturing Practices and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plans, and properly dispose of offal and waste water.
To become certified for off-farm sales, producers must:
- Complete the training
- Pass a brief test at the training
- Submit an application for certification along with a $75 annual fee
- Be inspected by MDA
MDA inspectors will conduct an inspection at least once per year to verify that producers are following food safety requirements.
Those interested in attending the workshops should contact Karen Fedor at 410-841-5773 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.