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Home Grown

Home Grown: Growers prep for food safety event


YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Food safety is grower's number one priority when packing boxes that head to the grocery stores.

This week's Home Grown looks into how farmers can advance food safety to ensure they are putting out the best quality product.

The Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture (YCEDA) partnered with Western Growers who travel between California and Arizona.

They frequently visit the Yuma area to educate growers on prevention, so any errors can be found before food is loaded on a truck.

They are also tying in field automation by keeping up to date with ag technology.

Dennis Donohue, director of Western Growers Center For Innovation and Technology says the main goal of their visit was to figure out how to get the information out to the growers.

"We're here to plan for an event that has a particular focus on prevention and rapid diagnostic technologies," Donohue said. "We think those are real important, and so we're going to be working on accelerating those technologies."

Farmers are utilizing technology to collect data that can determine if the crop has been contaminated.

This can both prevent contaminations and diagnose the problem quickly.

The event planned for march will provide both finances and education to growers.

Monday on 13 On Your Side, April Hettinger learns more about how growers plan to provide safe produce.

News / Yuma County
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April Hettinger

April was born and raised in San Diego where she loved the beach town and her two dogs, Lexi and Malibu. She decided to trade the beach for the snow and advanced her education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. After a short 3 ½ years, she earned bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with minors in Journalism and Spanish but gained memories and friendships she will always remember.

She began her broadcast journalism career through NAZ Today, northern Arizona’s local news station, by covering breaking news, building relationships with the community, learning to produce a newscast and anchoring live. Although she will miss her snowy mountain town, she is excited to further her broadcast career and take on the heat in a great city like Yuma.

She is looking forward to floating down at the Colorado River, riding dirt bikes at the sand dunes, and most importantly, serving the community through local news.

You can send any story ideas her way by emailing


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