Bridging the GAP
Focused on Applying the GAP (good agricultural practices) Certification Process to the Small Farmer
Mission: Be educated, Stay informed, Get involved, Create change
I would like Bridging the GAP to act as an information liason and exchange for our local farmers. I feel fortunate that I have been able to attend a local Food Safety Certification workshop, a GAP Certification workshop and am a graduating student with the SC New and Beginning Farmer Program out of Clemson. Through these various experiences, I have met several concerned individuals who are directly involved with the GAP certification process and its implementation. I feel a responsibility to share the information I've attained with my fellow growers in order to help them prepare for the certification process that will be mandated for all farmers within the next 18 months.
I intend to create the opportunity to address the questions and concerns of local growers with regards to GAP via blog and or email. I hope to answer any requests for information by contacting the connections I've made with the South Carolina USDA, Clemson professionals, farmers throughout South Carolina and local groups concerned with the policy and progress of the GAP certification as it applies to our smaller farms. In short I intend to utilise the opportutunites I've had to connect with these informed people and ask them to share their knowledge to help our growers move forward smoothly. It is a great hope to contribute the information gathered from this communication board to help policy makers and local, policy-driven groups to create a cerification process that will be appropriate, reasonable and applicable to the smaller grower in order to allow them to succeed. I have two wonderful and experienced friends volunteering to work on Bridging the Gap with me and I am collaborating and sharing info with LLf, Clemson, and CCL
I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel, I just want to contribute towards making GAP a process that small growers can actually implement. There are a lot of good people working on GAP policies all across nation and there is a tremendous amount of concern and support for protecting small farms. I believe that a calm, rational and educated approach is the way to effect change and I believe there is plenty of reason to hope that we can address this issue successfully.