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Produce Safety

Meet the Produce Safety University Training Team

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Natasha Williams, Program Manager
Natasha serves as a Program Analyst for the Office of Food Safety within the USDA FNS. She manages the Produce Safety University program, enhancing the training experience for school nutrition professionals by increasing awareness, visibility, and impact of food safety on USDA nutrition assistance programs. Through her leadership and vision, PSU participants are able to grow their knowledge and understanding of produce safety and engage with their peers.
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Cyndie Story, PhD, RDN, CC, SNS
Dr. Cyndie Story of Culinary Solution Centers, a K-12 consulting agency, works as an independent school nutrition consultant. Chef Cyndie and the K-12 Culinary Team work together to bring their skills and experience in developing a foodservice systems approach to enhance school nutrition operations. Our team of professionals has a combined skill set that includes extensive experience in nutrition science, food safety, culinary arts, recipe development, training program development, and school nutrition program operations. The White House recognized Chef Cyndie with a Champion of Change award in 2011 for her no-nonsense balanced approach to nutrition and dedication to educating school nutrition professionals. She received the 2018 Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics School Nutrition Services DPG Award of Excellence.
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Leo Tom Schwartz
Tom is a ASTD Certified Master Trainer with the USDA Specialty Crops Inspection Division with over twenty years' experience. He is currently with the Specialty Crops Inspection Training Division with USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service. Tom started his career as a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Inspector and then Training Officer in the New York City Terminal Market for the Fresh Products Branch in 2000. His current duties include being a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) auditor instructor and specializes in the Market Inspector Training program. Tom has spent his lifetime in the produce industry and brings a wealth of job experience to his presentations.
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Lauren McClean
Lauren is a Food Safety Specialist in the Office of Food Safety at USDA FNS. Lauren obtained a Bachelor's degree in Biology at Temple University and has 7 years of experience in food safety, environmental health and public health. In her current role, Lauren contributes to the Office of Food Safety's mission to protect people served by FNS programs from foodborne illness by developing food safety education, training, and technical assistance resources to support FNS program operators. This work relies on science-based food safety research and knowledge, as well as collaboration with external food safety partners.
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Olivia Banks
Olivia is an Agriculture Marketing Specialist for the Agriculture Marketing Service of the Specialty Crops Inspection/Specialty Crops Program and works as a standardization specialist writing the U.S. Standards for Grade for fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. Olivia served for 10 years in the US Army as a Food Inspection Specialist and traveled the world providing inspection service for the U.S. Armed Forces. After leaving the service Olivia spent almost 10 years working for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a bioterrorism specialist at the Division of Food Defense National Targeting Center. Olivia returned to her first love of food inspection with the USDA in 2015 and joined the PSU training team in 2017.
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Travis Hearn
Travis is a program analyst for the Office of Community Food Systems at FNS. The majority of his work focuses on the Farm to School Grant Program. Prior to joining FNS in 2018, Travis completed a Master's of Public Administration at the Texas A&M Bush School of Government & Public Service, with an emphasis on Public Policy Analysis and Education Policy. Travis is also a former Teach For America corps member, having taught in a rural school. Originally from Georgia, Travis graduated from the University of Georgia in 2013 with degrees in History and Political Science.