Good Agricultural Practice for Small Diversified Forms

— Written By Amie Newsome and last updated by Nikki Davis

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) and NC State University (NCSU) are excited to announce the release of a new resource manual, Good Agricultural Practice for Small Diversified Farms: Tips and Strategies to Reduce Risk and Pass an Audit.This manual is basedon research conducted in 2011-12 by CFSA in partnership with NCSU and N.C. Cooperative Extension faculty to determine the barriers that small-farm operators face in attaining food safety certification.


The manual shares tips and strategies that small diversified produce farmers can employ to meet GAPs certification requirements imposed by potential buyers. It will help you level the playing field when working with a GAPs auditor and give you the tools you need to show that you have an effective food safety program. To make the most of this document, it is best to have a copy of the USDA GAPs audit checklist at hand.


DOWNLOADGood Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Manual 2013



CFSA and NCSU are offering GAPs workshops this fall. This two-part series prepares producers for the audit process. Part 1 takes place on research farms and will be based on the GAPs audit manual. It combines classroom and on-farm components to provide farmers with the tools they need to identify potential food safety concerns and employ strategies to minimize contamination. Part 2 will take place in computer labs at local community colleges to provide direct assistance to producers completing their food safety plan.


Wayne Co.

Oct. 3 – CEFS Small Farms Unit

Oct. 17 – Mt. Olive CC

Contact Jessica Strickland:

See attached flyer


Henderson Co.

Oct. 10 – Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center

Oct. 22 – Blue Ridge CC

Contact Kerrie Roach:


Davidson Co.

Oct. 29 – Salisbury/Piedmont Research Station

Nov. 12 – Davidson CC

Contact Amy-Lynn Albertson:

See attached flyer



Interested in becoming USDA GAPs certified, but unsure whether you have all your cantaloupes in a row? Take advantage of our one-on-one training opportunity to have a mock audit conducted on your farm. We’ll identify potential risks and provide an assessment of your practices in relation to the GAPs certification matrix.


Application and information:

Contact: Karen McSwain,



Stuck paying the bill for the USDA GAPs audit you’ve already passed?

Take advantage of our cost share program and get CASH back! CFSA farm members who received USDA GAPs certification in 2013 and attended a CFSA GAPs audit training in 2012 or 2013 qualify for cost share assistance covering 75% of an individual’s certification costs, up to a maximum of $600.


Application and information:

Contact: Karen McSwain,