What is an On-Farm Readiness Review?

An On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) is a free, voluntary, in-person assessment of a farm personnel’s understanding of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. This is a chance for you to have a one-on-one conversation and farm walk-around with staff from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Produce Safety Program and educators from the University of Minnesota (UMN) Extension to discuss how the Rule applies to your operation. Together, we’ll evaluate pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest conditions and practices, assess what you are doing well, and identify areas for improvement in food safety practices on your farm.

How is an On-Farm Readiness Review different from an audit or regulatory inspection?

An On-Farm Readiness Review is not a regulatory visit. The OFRR is for your benefit and will consist of on-farm observation to identify areas for produce safety improvements, to help you prepare for a FSMA Produce Safety Rule inspection (if applicable), and to help you enhance produce safety practices on your farm. Reviewers are not there to conduct an audit, inspection, or any type of regulatory evaluation. All notes taken by the reviewers will be left with the farm at the end of the visit. 

How do I sign-up for an On-Farm Readiness Review?

To be eligible for an On-Farm Readiness Review, someone from your farm must have attended a Produce Safety Rule Grower Training. After you’ve completed a course, contact the Produce Safety Program at 651-539-3648 or email producesafety.mda@state.mn.us to sign-up. Staff will follow up with you to schedule your OFRR.

If my farm is not covered under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule can I still request an On-Farm Readiness Review?

Farms may request an On-Farm Readiness Review regardless of whether they are covered, qualified exempt, or excluded under the Rule, however, priority will be given to those farms covered under the Rule since they are subject to inspection. Farms that are excluded or qualified exempt from the Rule are welcome to request an OFRR and we will fill these requests as scheduling permits.

For answers to more frequently asked questions or to help us spread the word, check out What to Expect During an On-Farm Readiness Review.