NIFA Identifier 

Located at Oregon State University, the Western Regional Center to Enhance Food Safety is one of four US regional centers that were created to effectively coordinate food safety training programs resulting from implementation of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA). 

OSU was awarded a $1.2 million three-year grant from USDA-AFRI to establish the Western Regional Center to Enhance Food Safety. This Center will develop trainers to deliver FSMA-compliant training workshops targeted towards small- and medium-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, small processors, and small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers affected by the FSMA guidelines. It will also deliver regional and stakeholder training and assistance programs and assess the impact of these programs. The University will partner with state and local governments, other western region universities, and community-based and non-government organizations. The programs at the Centers are coordinated through the National Coordination Center (International Food Protection Training Institute, Battle Creek, MI).  

The long-term goal is to improve food safety through training of a wide array of stakeholders across the western region of the U.S. The Western Regional Center to Enhance Food Safety includes cooperation and leadership from every Land-Grant University in Western regional states. Because of the diversity of crops and climate zones within the defined US Western Region, the project is divided into four Sub-Regions which encompass 13 states and 2 territories:

Mountain Sub-Region:    *CO, MT, NM, NV, UT, WY

Northwest Sub-Region:   *ID, WA, AK, OR

Pacific Sub-Region:        *HI, American Samoa, Guam

Southwest Sub-Region:   *CA, AZ

            *Lead state for Sub-Regions

The overall objective of the grant is to establish the overall training regime for implementation of FSMA. These goals will be accomplished through the following specific objectives:

  • Develop a cadre of PSA (Produce Safety Alliance) and FSPCA (Food Safety Preventive Control Alliance) certified trainers within the US Western Region who are focused on supporting the food production and processing industry.
  • Develop and deliver region and stakeholder specific education, training curricula, and technical assistance programs by leveraging existing training and curricular development efforts with organizations such as NGO’s, CBO’s, Extension, food hubs, and food cooperatives. This will include a special focus on small farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, and small fruit and vegetable growers and processors.
  • Evaluate the impacts of education, training and technical assistance programs.