Fresh Southern Pea Production and Food Safety Workshop Feb. 7

Carol Sanders | School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – A Southern Pea Production Workshop for growers interested in participating in the Walmart Buy Local Initiative is scheduled for 2 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7, in the conference room of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) S.J. Parker Research Center at 2101 Oliver Road.

“This workshop is designed primarily for producers who are planning to grow fresh southern peas for sale at local Walmart stores,” says Dr. Henry English, head of the Small Farm Program at UAPB.

Information on production practices and food safety with an emphasis on helping producers become Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certified will be presented by university faculty and researchers. This may be a requirement to participate in the program, Dr. English reminds growers. Representatives of D&S Produce, the processor and buyer of the fresh peas, will discuss purchasing requirements, pricing, quantity and related topics. Contact Dr. English at (870) 575-7246 for more information.

The Walmart Buy Local Initiative will also be one of the concurrent workshops at the upcoming 57th annual Rural Life Conference on Feb. 22, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. At this workshop, southern pea producers in attendance will be eligible to win enough lime for five acres of land. To be eligible for the lime, producers must have a recent soil test that indicates a need for lime.

Rural Life Conference registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with the opening session at 8:45 a.m. Sponsored by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, the 2013 conference features several workshops, a poster session and exhibits.     Preregistration is requested of everyone even though the conference is free to farmers, ranchers, homemakers and retirees. Preregistration for professionals and agency personnel is $50; after Feb. 11, late registration will be $75. Registration for students is $25. To preregister or for more information, contact Almetris Cobbs at (870) 575-8141.

The convention center is located at One Convention Center Plaza.

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