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February 2018


Georgia and Texas A&M staffs are joining forces on a new three-year grant project to help veterans understand food safety. Rebecca Brightwell will serve as the PI on the new grant. She has partnered with Rick Peterson of Texas A&M on this project.

Veterans have been increasingly entering agricultural careers. Understanding food safety is a critical component of operating a farm. Many of the veterans entering agriculture also have a disability diagnosis as a direct result of their service. Due to the prevalence of service-related injuries and mental health impairments, researchers have suggested the need to both understand and accommodate veterans in learning environments.

The project builds on a pilot funded by USDA/NIFA. During the pilot, an existing food safety curriculum was adapted for a veteran audience to address military culture and accommodate the most common disabilities veterans experience. Universal design for learning (UDL) is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.

The project expands the work of the pilot to a larger geographical veteran audience. The University of Georgia (lead) and Texas A&M will train over 120 veterans. In addition, the lead project will produce a train-the-trainer guide. The ultimate goal is for veterans to have increased knowledge and long-term retention of food safety practices, including FSMA, water testing and sampling, and developing food safety plans.

This project will provide important additional resources to the increasing number of veterans now being served by AgrAbility.

Submitted by Rebecca Brightwell