Speaker Spotlight – Dr. Kimberly Baker & Dr. Lance Beecher, Clemson University Cooperative Extension
“Promoting Spinach Consumption and Sustainable Agricultural Practices in South Carolina Schools using Aquaponics”
(Aquaponics Research & Food Safety Track)
Dr. Kimberly A. Baker completed her Ph.D. in Food Technology from Clemson University in 2016. She is a registered and licensed dietitian and a trained chef. Dr. Baker serves as the Food Systems and Safety Program Team Leader and State Consumer Food Safety Program Coordinator with the Clemson University Cooperative Extension. Dr. Baker is also a certified Seafood HACCP Trainer and Instructor (Association of Food and Drug Officials), certified Food Safety Preventive Control for Human Food and Animal Food Lead Instructor (Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance), certified Produce Safety Alliance Lead Trainer (Produce Safety Alliance) and ServSafe® Instructor/Proctor (National Restaurant Association).
Dr. Lance Beecher serves as an Extension Associate and State Specialist with the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service. He received a Ph.D. from Clemson University in Environmental Toxicology and a M.S. and B.S. from Louisiana State University in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology. His background includes extensive work in aquaculture and aquaponics projects for over 25 years. His area includes recirculating system filtration and water quality management. Presently he is managing a 2500 gallon aquaponics system evaluating nutrient dynamics, sterilization techniques and aquaponics food safety protocols.
This session will discuss a project conducted by Clemson Cooperative Extension about promoting spinach consumption and sustainable agricultural practices in South Carolina schools using Aquaponics. The goals of this project were: 1) to increase nutritional knowledge and consumption of leafy green vegetables; 2) to enhance good handling practices and food safety during production and preparation; and 3) to promote South Carolina sustainable production practices, focusing on Aquaponics. Two classes from two high schools participated in the project in which the class teacher was taught how to run an aquaponics system; and teach the students pre-determined learning content. Lesson topics included: safe food handling, food safety of produce and nutrition and cooking of spinach. Students and teachers were given a pre-test and post-test in order to evaluate knowledge gained. This session will discuss how the project was implemented, project results and how this can be incorporated into other schools nationwide.
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