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Melon Farmers Seek Ways To Remain Profitable, Boost Safety

Farmers say they are implementing new safety measures after a salmonella outbreak in 2012.

Melon

Photo: Andrew Willms/Flickr

Upcoming 'melon harvest workshop' will be at Oaktown Produce Depot in Oaktown, Indiana on June 13th.

After a salmonella outbreak at an Indiana melon farm two years ago, melon growers say they’re still adjusting to new ways of growing that aim to boost food safety.

Purdue University is hosting workshops this week to teach farmers proper techniques.

Scott Monroe is the Purdue Extension Educator for Daviess County and he says to prevent contamination, the workshop explains how to sanitize water and introduces farmers to some of the latest food safety technologies.

“It’s really good just to get all the growers together going into harvest just to give them an update and make sure that everyone is making preparations and where they need to be prior to any harvesting and selling fruits,” says Monroe.

One of the most important parts of food safety for melon farmers is proper harvesting techniques. But all the Kamman’s Farms president Mark Kamman says all the extra precautions makes it harder for his farm to be profitable.

“We believe in the investments we make and just going in that extra mile that it will come back. Everything takes phases,” says Kamman.

Kamman says he’s still making some changes and he expects he’ll be able to fully adjust to new normal soon.

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