Ashley Kulhanek
County Extension Educator - Agriculture and Natural Resources
OSU Extension
Medina County

Ilic, S.*1, , Kulhanek, A.2, , Lewis-Ivey, M.3,
1 Assistant Professor, OSU Department of Human Sciences Human Nutrition, Columbus, OH, 43210
2 County Extension Educator - Agriculture and Natural Resources, OSU Extension, Medina, OH, 44256
3 Assistant Professor, OSU Department of Plant Pathology, Wooster, OH, 44691

The Good Agricultural Practices Guide for Plain Growers was created to provide an educational teaching guide and reference tool for the Amish and Mennonite Growers (Plain Community) of Ohio to help them implement good agricultural practices (GAPS) on the produce farm.  This targeted publication was needed to better serve the Plain Community of Ohio which may have previously received GAPS education formatted for a general audience.  The new publication’s objectives were: 1) to provide a print guide on GAPS for the Plain Growers whose culture may limit access to technologies used to teach GAPS to a broader audience, 2) to better meet the literacy level of the community, and 3) to teach principles of GAPS including risk assessments on the farm and produce safety risks from water, soil amendments, wildlife, people on the farm, and storage and traceability concerns.  The new publication was created by adapting the traditional GAPS curriculum to suit a 7th grade reading level, using ample color photos from their own farms, and addressing cultural and farming practices and auction houses used in the plain community specifically.  The nominating educator was a primary creator of GAPs content along with the co-authors and contributed graphics and photographs, as well as editing final publication.  The guide has been reviewed for content and was reviewed by a professor in the OSU Department of Education for grade-level appropriateness.  The publication is available digitally to Extension educators on the GAPS Team to be printed by office equipment or print shop on demand for training.  It was used for the first time March 11, 2020 at a Plain Community GAPS Training for an audience of 67 and 70 were distributed.  An informal verbal survey of repeat attendees found that 100% of participants preferred the new guide to the materials shared at previous trainings.  We have received requests from produce auction houses who wish to have the new Plain Grower Guide available to share with their growers as well.