Amber Vallotton

Extension Specialist, Fresh Produce Food Safety Coordinator
Amber Vallotton
307-C Saunders Hall Virginia Tech 0327
490 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Overview

I have a 100% extension appointment in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences.  As an extension specialist and coordinator of the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Fresh Produce Food Safety Team, I collaborate with other specialists and agents on statewide extension programming as it relates to food safety in produce production, harvesting, packing, and market access.  A primary component of my work is building and strengthening partnerships with a broad array of stakeholders so as to foster a food safety culture in the Commonwealth.

Expertise 

  • On-Farm Produce Food Safety
  • Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification

Education

  • M.S. Agricultural Biology, New Mexico State University, 2005
  • B.A. Agronomy, New Mexico State University, 1995

My efforts include building internal capacity and external outreach & resource development for VCE.  My programming efforts entail providing trainings for growers as a certified lead trainer for the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule curriculum; developing GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) resource materials and workshops for trainers, as well as direct and wholesale market growers; and developing market-specific guidance aimed at producers to better align their practices with marketplace requirements, including VCE Farm to School efforts.  Materials developed include a comprehensive website that is a clearinghouse of resource materials for trainers and producers such as FAQs, YouTube videos, fact sheets, webinars, GAP/HGAP certification Plan of Action manual templates, and FSMA Produce Safety Rule resources. I have also co-authored and created several dozen resources related to produce safety, market access, and antibiotic resistance in produce. 

Extension Specialist | 2014 – present
School of Plant & Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Horticulture Extension Agent | 2010-2014
Rockingham County
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Harrisonburg, Va.

Crop and Soils Extension Agent | 2007-2010
Rockingham County
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Harrisonburg, Va.

Science Specialist | 2000-2007
Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, Nm.

Chemistry/ Biology Teacher | 1999-2000
Presidio High School, Presidio Independent School District, Presidio, Tx. 

Research Assistant | 1996-1999
Department of Agronomy and Horticulture
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, Nm.

  • First Place 2020 VCE Agent-Specialist Poster. “Building Capacity to Meet Virginia Produce Grower Needs for FSMA Water Testing Compliance”.
  • Second Place 2020 VCE Agent-Specialist Poster.  “Meeting Grower Demands for FSMA Produce Safety Rule Education and Outreach in Virginia”.
  • Second Place 2018 VCE Agent-Specialist Poster. “Developing a Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Manual Template in Response to Produce Buyer Demands”. 
  • Second Place 2016 VCE Agent-Specialist Poster. “Local Food Systems: Setting the Stage for a Sustainable Pearisburg Community Market”.
  • First Place 2016 VCE Statewide Program Excellence Awards. “Pilot GAP Certification Program Paves Way for other Large Acreage Farm Operations”.
  • First Place 2012 VCE Northern District New Initiatives award. “Shenandoah Valley GAP Certification Program”.
  • Second Place 2012 VCE Poster Contest. "Delivering Effective GAP Certification Programming for Underserved Virginia Producers".
  • First Place 2008 VCE Poster Contest. “Strengthening Valley Farmers Markets”.
  1. Strawn, L., Vallotton, A., Boyer, R., and Bardsley, C. 2019. Demystifying Agricultural Production Water Testing under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule (FST-350NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension. 
  2. Vallotton, A., and Bowen, E. 2019. Changes to USDA GAP & GHP, Produce Harmonized GAP, and Harmonized GAP Plus+ Audit Billing and Scheduling (SPES-132NP (147-NP)). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  3. Vallotton et al. 2019. Considerations for Producers Seeking Market Access to Schools (SPES-145NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  4. Vallotton et al. 2019. Considerations for School Nutrition Directors Seeking to Increase Farm to School Purchases (SPES-146NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  5. Estrada, E., Zuchel, J., Vallotton, A., and Strawn, L. 2019. Susceptibility of Produce to Infiltration: Risk Factors and Mitigations (FST-320NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  6. Gleason, J., Chamberlin, B., P. Martinez, A. Aguirre, P. McVann, R. Flores, A. Pruden, A. Vallotton. 2019. Reducing Antibiotic Resistance from Farm to Fork. Animation. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/ob4NmLmhFTE
  7. Vallotton A., Niewolny, K., Kloetzli, C., and Westfall-Rudd, D. 2019. “Virginia Whole Farm Planning: An Educational Program for Farm Startup and Development (Introduction to Whole Farm Planning)” (AEE-50P). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  8. Vallotton A., Gugercin, S., Strawn, L., Boyer, R., Case, M., and Latimer, J. 2018. Virginia Produce Safety Website. http://www.hort.vt.edu/producesafety/
  9. Vallotton, A., Pruden-Bagchi, A., and Gugercin, S. 2018. Reducing Antibiotic Resistance from Farm to Fork Website. http://www.hort.vt.edu/args/index.html
  10. Vallotton, A., Gilmour, L., Tikekar, R., Howe, B., & Markley, K. 2018. "Overview of Food Safety for Fruit and Vegetable Growers and processors, Buyers, and Local Food and Agriculture Professionals and Advocates" Webinar (Part 1). http://www.chesapeakefoodshed.net/ .
  11. Vallotton, A., & Strawn, L. 2018. A Guide to the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification Process (HORT-252NP (HORT-285NP)). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  12. Vallotton et al. 2017. Accessing Virginia’s Market Sectors: Fresh Produce Purchasing Considerations (HORT-272NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension. 
  13. Vallotton et al. 2017. Accessing Virginia Market Sectors: Establishing a Marketing Perspective (HORT-279NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension. 
  14. Vallotton et al. 2017. Accessing Virginia’s College & University Market Sector: Fresh Produce Food Safety Considerations (HORT-278NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension. 
  15. Vallotton et al. 2017. Accessing Virginia’s Direct-to-Consumer Market Sector: Fresh Produce Food Safety Considerations (HORT-277NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension. 
  16. Vallotton e al. 2017. Accessing Virginia’s Hospital Market Sector: Fresh Produce Food Safety Considerations (HORT-276NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension. 
  17. Vallotton et al. 2017. Accessing Virginia’s Public School (K-12) Market Sector: Fresh Produce Food Safety Considerations (HORT-275NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  18. Vallotton et al. 2017. Accessing Virginia’s Restaurant Market Sector: Fresh Produce Food Safety Considerations (HORT-274NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  19. Vallotton et al. 2017. Accessing Virginia’s Retail Market Sector: Fresh Produce Food Safety Considerations (HORT-273NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension. 
  20. Vallotton et al. 2017. Accessing Virginia’s Regional Wholesale Market Sector: Fresh Produce Food Safety Considerations (HORT-271NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension. 
  21. Vallotton, A., Strawn, L., & Latimer, J. 2017. Guide to Identifying Food Safety Hazards in Greenhouse Systems (HORT-254NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  22. Maurer, E., Pruden, A., & Vallotton, A. 2017. Antimicrobial Resistance: What is it and What’s at Stake? (HORT-257NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  23. Maurer, E., Pruden, A., & Vallotton, A. 2017. The Phenomenon of Antimicrobial Resistance: A One-Health Issue (HORT-259NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  24. Maurer, E., Pruden, A., & Vallotton, A. 2017. How Do We Measure Antimicrobial Resistance? (HORT-258NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  25. Maurer, E., Pruden, A., & Vallotton, A. 2017. Understanding the Public Health Risks of Antimicrobial Resistance (HORT-260NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  26. Maurer, E., Pruden, A., & Vallotton, A. 2017. The Journey of Antibiotics from Farm to Fork (HORT-261NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  27. Maurer, E., Knowlton, K., Pruden, A., & Vallotton, A. 2017. What is the Veterinary Feed Directive? (HORT-262NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  28. Gleason, C., Maurer, E., Knowlton, K., & Vallotton, A. 2017. Battling Resistance: Judicious Antibiotic Use in Beef and Dairy Cattle (DASC-106NP). Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  29. Niewolny, K., Kloetzli, C., and Vallotton, A. 2013. "Successful Farm Start-up for Beginners: Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program," Virginia Cooperative Extension.
  30. Vallotton, A., Murray, L., Delaney, K., and Sterling, T. 2012. "Water deficit induces swainsonine of some locoweed taxa, but with no swainsonine-growth trade-off", Acta Oecologica 43: 140-149.