Produce Growers: Register Now for Postharvest Handling Workshop

Produce Growers: Register Now for Postharvest Handling Workshop

On Wednesday, October 10, NCAT agriculture specialists Luke Freeman and Andy Pressman will team up with educators from the University of Arkansas and Heifer USA to present Scaling up Your Produce Farm: Postharvest Handling for Intermediated Markets. This one-day workshop is designed to help fruit and vegetable growers enter new markets.

Workshop Details

This on-farm workshop will focus on harvest and postharvest operations that will enable growers to scale up into intermediated markets. Intermediated markets include sales directly to restaurants, grocers, schools, universities, and other institutions, rather than direct-to-consumer sales. Intermediated markets also include food hubs and other aggregators as well as distributors dedicated to local food sourcing.

Boxes of broccoli
The Common Market, PA

Topics covered will include handling and storage requirements for fruits and vegetables and food safety considerations in postharvest operations. Instructors will also discuss the buyer’s perspective when purchasing local produce.

Workshop attendees will also tour Heifer Ranch’s two-acre organic vegetable farm, including the newly-updated pack shed with scale-appropriate equipment for produce washing, handling, and storage.

The workshop will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Heifer Ranch, 55 Heifer Rd., in Perryville, Arkansas. The registration fee is $10, which includes lunch.  Register online at

About the Presenters

Andy Pressman is an Agriculture Specialist with NCAT. He specializes in small-scale intensive crop production, whole-farm planning, tools and equipment for the small farm, and organic certification.

Luke Freeman is a Horticulture Specialist with NCAT and trains growers on produce safety, fruit and vegetable production, and marketing.

Amanda Philyaw Perez is an Assistant Professor with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and leads the Local, Regional, and Safe Food Systems program for UA Extension.

Sean Pessarra is the farm manager of the 2-acre organic vegetable farm at the Heifer Ranch and provides technical assistance to Arkansas produce growers through Heifer USA.

Ben Maddox has served as the Executive Director of New South Produce Cooperative and is the Value Chain Manager for Heifer USA. He provides technical assistance to Arkansas growers and coordinates farmer training at the Heifer Ranch.

Lodging Information

Heifer Ranch has overnight accommodations for participants who wish to spend the night on October 9. Rooms are $50 per night and include two single beds with a private bathroom. Please contact Bobbie Jo at or call 501-889-5124 to make reservations.

Questions About the Event?

Contact Andy Pressman, or 479-587-3475.

*This project is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant #2016-68006-24739 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


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