News & Updates
June 7, 2022: The Safe Wisconsin Produce (SWP) spring newsletter is now available. This season’s edition highlights SWP resources available for all produce growers and inspectional expectations for covered farming operations. It also outlines the preliminary findings of the 2022 survey and summarizes the successes of the fall-winter conference season.
Read the SWP newsletter.
June 6, 2022: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a
new online resource for human and animal food producers affected by flooding and severe weather. This page helps food producers identify federal and state resources available to those who may be harvesting, mixing, storing, or distributing grains and other foods after experiencing a severe weather incident.
June 5, 2022: Michigan State University Extension’s on-farm produce safety team published new content for identifying on-farm food safety hazards, including the
Produce Bites podcast on birds and food safety; an article on
common microorganisms found on farms; and a handy
Follow That Poop flowchart of animal borne pathogens that are harmful to humans.
June 3, 2022: The Produce Safety Advisory Council (PSAC) welcomes two new members: Brandi Grayson and Jenna LaChance. Learn more about them at the
May 25, 2022: The University of Minnesota released an Aquaponic Food Safety Assessment checklist to help aquaponic operations assess their food safety risks. The checklist can be downloaded and used as a template to help identify risks, and it provides recommendations to mitigate them.
View all of UM’s aquaponic resources.
May 17, 2022: RTI International, North Carolina State University, and Virginia Tech are offering an online course on
production and post-harvest water testing and sampling. The training is designed for farm owners, small and mid-sized producers, and processors, and it provides informative content related to production and postharvest water testing, and sampling and short challenges to test knowledge of the material. The course is also
available in Spanish.
May 17, 2022: Growers interested in learning more about soil amendments and the Produce Safety Rule can take a
free online course offered by RTI International, North Carolina State University, and Virginia Tech. This interactive training takes roughly 30 minutes to complete and provides informative content related to soil amendments and short challenges to test your knowledge. The course is also
available in Spanish.
Take the 2022 Produce Questionnaire and Registry
Through a cooperative agreement with the FDA, DATCP's Produce Safety Regulatory Program, or Safe Wisconsin Produce (SWP), has a primary goal of educating and promoting implementation of the Produce Safety Rule (PSR) to diverse members of the Wisconsin agriculture community.
SWP has spent more than five years understanding the agricultural layout across the state and assessing the needs of produce growers, including education and technical support. SWP – along with partner organizations like Wisconsin Farmers Union and Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services – will continue to ensure the safe production of fresh fruit and vegetables by providing growers and buyers access to the resources they need. SWP also is responsible for enforcing the PSR through documented inspections, often occurring after formal training and On-Farm Readiness Reviews.
To provide these service to Wisconsin growers, the SWP team comprises individuals with strong backgrounds in agriculture and food, and a passion for the industry.
Meet the Team
Krystal's history of produce safety began shortly after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Superior with a degree in environmental science. She spent more than a half-decade working on organic produce farms, ranging from CSA to wholesale to retail/market-based. She experienced the joys and hardships of farming firsthand – seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, washing and packing. She observed losses due to disease, above average yields, and everything in between.
In 2016, Krystal transitioned to food safety. She worked as a manufactured foods sanitarian, strengthening her understanding of food safety factors while learning the “whys" behind regulation. In May 2021, Krystal transitioned to her current role where she oversees the work being done by the produce team in the field and behind the scenes. She is committed to aiding in the forward movement of Safe Wisconsin Produce so that it can continue to be a resource for years to come. If you can't find her at work or in her garden, she is likely chasing her toddler, swimming in the lake, with her head in a book, or covered in flour as she whips up a comfy fall recipe.
Program and Policy Analyst
Joanna's position comes with a lot of variety, including: Developing and providing progress reports to leadership, analyzing processes and creating standard operating procedures, coordinating communications between DATCP and the Produce Safety Advisory Council, and maintaining the statewide farm inventory. This work involves close collaborations with other states, federal agencies and various partners. It also requires a constant focus on program efficiency and educating growers to make sure they are following sound safety practices to keep Wisconsin's fresh fruits and vegetables healthy and wholesome.
Before joining DATCP, Joanna earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and built a wide range of experiences. Her professional career began in Jerusalem in the nonprofit sector in education. This is where she first tasted fresh figs, which have remained her favorite over the years. From there, she moved to a suburb of Washington, D.C., where she began organic food gardening, beekeeping and urban growing. She also co-owned and operated a wood-fired pizza business. In Madison, Joanna continues to grow fruits and vegetables and care for chickens, always pleasantly surprised at their productivity despite the short season. She also enjoys the outdoors, being active, and connecting with people.
Bridget's position has her out in the field on a regular basis, educating farmers and working with them during inspections. She also serves as one of the technical experts on the SWP team and assist with training opportunities. With a background in farming, she especially enjoys working with growers.
Bridget's personal and professional backgrounds are both closely linked to food and food safety. Prior to working with produce at DATCP, she worked at the department as a meat safety inspector and spent years educating today's youth about agriculture.
Micheal was born and raised in Jefferson County, graduating from Lake Mills High School in 1980. After attending colleges in Madison and Milwaukee, he enlisted in the Army as a special operations airborne trooper, serving more than 24 months in combat before retiring after 23 years as a master sergeant. He continued working for the Army as a contractor in Afghanistan before accepting his position at DATCP in 2017.
Having bought a small farm after retirement, Micheal is back in Jefferson County where he lives with his wife of more than 20 years and his two sons. Inspired by the hundreds of Wisconsin farmers he has met since joining DATCP, he grows his own produce on an acre of land to better appreciate the PSR and how it affects growers. He also raises chickens for eggs and maintains a small army of barn cats (nearly 30 at last count) for pest control. Micheal always appreciate the opportunity of working and learning with Wisconsin farmers.