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Policy

The NOFA/Mass Raw Milk Network today said that the state of Massachusetts, through the Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), handles licensing and regulation of raw milk sales well, and the towns that are home to the nearly 30 raw milk dairies in the state should continue to entrust that role to the professional inspectors and scientists at MDAR. The statement was issued because the town of Foxborough has proposed additional regulations for raw milk dairies operating in that town.

The comment period for the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) closes on 22nd (extended). Some of the proposed regulations would make it very difficult for small farmers, and those choosing to eat food from small farms, to continue current practices.

It’s hard to believe, but many of my colleagues and I have now been working on food safety issues for well over four years, at least since the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) began to move through Congress in early 2009.  Throughout that time the road has been twisting and bumpy, with victories and losses along the way, but now the moment of truth has arrived.  In just a few weeks, on November 15, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will close the comment period on proposed new rules that would greatly affect many of the farmers who are doing the right thing.  It’s anyone’s guess ri

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has
begun “listening sessions” around the country about
its proposed implementation of the Food Safety
Modernization Act (FSMA). The FDA has estimated
that it could cost small farms up to $13,000 annually to
comply with the new regs, and the officials in attendance
at these hearings have gotten quite an earful.
 
On August 19, in Augusta Maine, farmers told state and
federal officials that: “You’re going to be putting farms

On August 8th, NOFA/Mass will host Real Pickles founder Dan Rosenberg at the beautiful Brookfield Farm in Amherst for a fun evening reception to sustain NOFA/Mass' policy work - a great way to kick off your NOFA Summer Conference experience!

TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR.

There will be 2 public hearings in June at which will be considered bills related to the future of food and farming in Massachusetts. NOFA/Mass has identified 8 of these bills as priorities and urges all members who are concerned about any of these issues to attend and testify or to send testimony.

A hearing will be held on Monday, June 3 at 10:00 a.m. in Spencer, MA on a bill that would allow farmers to deliver raw milk to customers. Learn about why this matters to small dairies, and how you can help.  Read More

Surviving the legal jungle: I will review legal rights and obligations for zoning exemption for farms and farm stands, agricultural exemption from Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act & Regulations, agricultural land tax classification program, agricultural preservation restrictions & nuisance law.

The NOFA Interstate Council is in the process of building its regional and national policy capacity from the grassroots up. Come one and all for updates on biotech crops, food safety legislation, etc., and contribute your input for issues NOFA needs to address in the coming months.

Readers who have been NOFA members for a few years
now certainly remember the fight we got into over NAIS
– the National Animal Identification System. NAIS was
dreamed up by a consortium of big animal ag companies
and various companies making animal identification devices
in association with the USDA.
 
Created as a response to outbreaks of mad cow and other
indications that US feedlots and CAFOs were filthy and
producing sick and diseased animals, the idea was that the

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