Why Should I Wash My Hands When Going to Pick in the Field?

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Ask a Farmer

Question: Why should I wash my hands when going into the field to pick?

Answer: Food safety! We operate a pick-your-own strawberry field, and we ask our customers to do just this. A simple explanation of why is that you must start clean if you wish to finish clean. It is our highest priority to provide our customers with a quality product that is safe and nutritious for them.

In addition to the strawberry fields, we also grow sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes we grow are sold to a wholesale packer and end up on dinner tables in various forms. We train all of our employees to wash their hands before any of the sweet potatoes are handled from harvest to warehouse.

Washing hands is just one example of a Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) used on modern farms today. We use many GAPs on our farm to ensure food safety. Most are done because common sense tells us they are the right things to do, and others are done because they have been recommended to help ensure safer food. All farmers take great pride in growing their crops, and the farmers who grow produce crops take additional great lengths to ensure their safety for you!

– Brent and Sue Leggett, Nash County farmers

1 Comment

  1. Marcus C. Hamill

    June 15, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    I came across your Pinterest page, and saw the post “Ask A Farmer,” and that led me to your website. I grew up on a family farm in Halifax County, where I worked with my father. I farmed with him throughout my high school years, and continued after graduating in 1995. Around 2003, things were not looking good for the operation, so I decided I should probably try and go to college to have something to fall back on. Essentially, he continued farming until 2005, and then had to call it quits. I graduated from ECU in 2008 with a BSBA in Business Management & Entrepreneurship, and also with student loans that afforded me the opportunity to go to college. Its been a complete and utter disaster since graduating from ECU, trying to find a job has been extremely difficult and all I really want to do is to farm. But I know that the capital needed to start a farm today is astronomical, and then of course my federal student loans makes it that much worse. Does the Department of Agriculture, either on the state or federal ends working with people who want to farm who have student loans? Also; to your knowledge, are there others that are in similar situations? It can become a bit depressing being in the situation I have found myself. I often find myself telling others (including my parents) that I wish I’d never gone to college, but I know that’s not right. Thanks for allowing me to have somewhere to speak about this. And thanks to all the organizations that are able to help bring a new generation of farmers to NC and other states.

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