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Welcome to the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) section of the University of Connecticut Integrated Pest Management Web Site. 

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension Food Safety Program is participating in a New England regional GAP project.  We plan to bring information to produce farmers so that they have the skills needed to reduce the risk that their fresh produce will be contaminated with microorganisms that can make people sick.

Our Mission

This project includes several parts.

1)    First we surveyed farmers and consumers from New England to get the "lay of the land."  We wanted to find out if farmers were already employing Good Agricultural Practices (even though they may not call them that!) and what types of sanitation practices they were using in the fields and in the packing house.  In addition we asked consumers if they were concerned about the safety of produce and if they were willing to pay more for produce grown with GAPs

2)    Next we tested lettuce, apples, strawberries, and tomatoes harvested from NE farms to see if there were any pathogenic (sick-making) microorganisms there.  

Overall results from the surveys and summaries of the testing (for all of New England) are available from dhirsch@canr.uconn.edu.

3)    We have developed a series of fact sheets on Good Agricultural Practices that are available on this site.  We can also come out to your site or speak to your group regarding GAP.  Please fill out the response form after you read the fact sheets. 

Finally, if you farm in Connecticut or Rhode Island, we invite you to participate in our voluntary GAP audit program.  After you have read the fact sheets and have implemented GAP practices (or discovered that you are already using them), we will send our UConn Plant Science Dept. staff member to perform an audit of your operation.  If you are able to show that you are using Good Agricultural Practices, you will receive a placard to post that indicates you are participating in the voluntary audit program.  The audit form is available on this site for your review.

Contact Information

If you have any questions, you may contact the GAP contact person in Connecticut or any New England state. 

University of Rhode Island (lead state):
Lori Pivarnik                            pivarnik@uri.edu or
Martha Patnoad                       mpatnoad@uri.edu

University of Connecticut: 
Diane Wright Hirsch                dhirsch@canr.uconn.edu

University of Maine:
Mahmoud El Begearmi               mahmoud@umext.maine.edu

University of Massachusetts:
Rita Brennan Olson                   ritabo@nutrition.umass.edu

University of New Hampshire:
Catherine Violette                    catherine.violette@unh.edu

University of Vermont:
Dale Steen                               dale.steen@uvm.edu

Send mail to marilyn.chase@uconn.edu with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: July 19, 2002