In July, Cooperative Extension welcomed Mary Saucier Choate as a field specialist in food safety in Grafton County.
Mary comes to Extension with a strong background in teaching food safety to consumers and professionals. For 17 years, she led programs on food safety, nutrition and wellness at the Co-op Food Stores in Hanover and Lebanon, and White River Junction, Vermont.
Most recently, Mary served as manager of outreach and stakeholder engagement with the Partnership for Food Safety Education. She developed and guided the organization’s strategy to deliver trusted, science-based behavioral health messaging to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of New Hampshire and Master of Science in Food and Nutrition from Framingham State College, Mary brings well-rounded expertise in the science of food safety, and skill in program development and delivery.
Mary is a long-time resident of Grafton County and brings valuable knowledge of the area and its clientele. As the food safety team’s newest member, Mary will provide training in safe food handling methods for retail food establishments. She will also work with the state’s agricultural producers and processors to provide information that will help businesses implement best practices to maintain the integrity of our local food supply.
Amy Papineau, program team leader for Extension’s Food and Agriculture program, believes that Mary is an excellent fit for the position and will be a great resource to the businesses and people she will serve. “We’re very excited to add Mary to our Extension team. Not only does Mary bring strong technical expertise, she also brings incredible passion and excitement for teaching the science of food safety.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with Extension and the local farmers and food service workers I will be serving as a food safety resource,” says Mary.