Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware Hires a Special Programs and Outreach Coordinator

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

The Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware has just hired Sara Busker as their Special Programs and Outreach Coordinator. Sara is a University of Delaware graduate and grew up on a dairy farm near Harrington, Delaware. She was very active in 4-H and FFA and has extensive leadership and public presentation experience in those youth organizations. She was a former Delaware Dairy Princess and in that role gain experience planning activities that promoted DE products to farm audiences, consumer groups, and school groups. She also served for 2 years as the Kent County 4-H Summer Day Camp Director working with children ages 5-12 and is currently also a site coordinator for a 4-H After-School program in Dover with an everyday focus on teaching children to eat well. In addition, Sara works part-time for the Delaware Department of Agriculture and is currently working on updating the DE Farm Market Directory.

Sara will be providing support for programs being developed by the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware working directly with board members and university advisors. Sara will help with membership outreach and work to increase membership. She will maintain and update the association website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages and assist in publishing an association newsletter. One of Sara’s main jobs will be to coordinate a FVGAD initiative to promote vegetable and fruit consumption in Delaware and promote locally produced vegetables and fruits. She will be promoting vegetable and fruit consumption around the state at public events targeting parents. Sara will also be offering support to direct marketers in Delaware who offer school tours on produce farms with educational programs about vegetables and fruits that are age appropriate.

Sara will also be conducting programs in elementary schools to educate about the importance of eating fruit and vegetables and on what produce is grown in Delaware. She will also provide education based on farm to school programs emphasizing the health benefits of the local produce being supplied to schools and will offer support school garden initiatives with educational programming on the benefits of growing and eating produce. She will also assist with grower workshops on producing for and selling directly to schools, colleges, institutions, and restaurants.

In addition, Sara will be assisting with outreach on produce food safety, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and Good Handling Practices (GHP), by working with farmers to develop finished farm food safety plans and prepare for audits. She will set up sessions for food service managers to better understand produce food safety and GAP’s.

Sara will be out and about visiting many DE produce growers in the coming months to learn more about the produce industry and to develop ideas on how to best promote DE grown fruits and vegetables. Please welcome her to your farms and businesses.

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