Attending the Consumer Food Safety Education Conference (this year, Dec. 4-5 in Arlington, VA) is important to me on many levels. Because the conference focuses on food safety education, there’s a much more targeted educational approach that meets my needs. And because it is targeted, it attracts people like me who are trying to make a difference in food safety education, which enriches the networking opportunities.
I know I can’t go to every conference that comes up, so I always look closely at the programming. Will I get the latest, science-based information available? Are the sessions going to help me in my day-to-day work? Will I see the right people that I can learn from (and steal ideas from!)? Will and I (and my employer) get something out of this – what’s the ROI?
I’ve attended several of the previous Consumer Food Safety Education Conferences, and each time, it’s met my needs. I’ve learned things that expanded my knowledge, challenged my ideas, and recommitted me to the need for consumer food safety education. This is an issue that can’t be solved by one person, or even a handful. It takes all of us working in concert to get the word out, to help consumers make those changes that will safeguard themselves and their families. It’s validating and encouraging to be among other people who have this same passion and commitment to food safety education.
Like many people who attend the conference, I’m a conduit for others. The information shared at the conference doesn’t stop with me or the several hundred food safety educators who attend. It’s multiplied and amplified as each of us works to improve consumer food safety practices. I find it’s well worth my time and attention. I wouldn’t miss it.
Kathy Means is Vice President of Industry Relations at the Produce Marketing Association.