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New England Farmers Union Meets in Maine, Urges FSMA Comments
The New England Farmers Union (NEFU) is a regional chapter of the National Farmers Union. Its mission is to keep family farming viable through educational opportunities, co-operative endeavors and civic engagement. NEFU works with the Congressional delegates of the six New England states and with government officials to ensure that federal agriculture programs are fully funded and that they reflect the needs of the region's diversified farms. Here are two time-sensitive announcements from NEFU:
Annual Convention Next Week
NEFU's fifth annual convention, Navigating Change in New England Agriculture, is coming up on December 11-13, 2014, at the Holiday Inn By the Bay in Portland, Maine. Registration closes Monday, Dec. 8. The keynote speaker will be farmer and US Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME). Attendees will hear updates on issues that matter to the region's family farmers: federal farm policy initiatives, risk management tools, the organic checkoff, challenges and opportunities in sustainable and organic farming, agriculture infrastructure, and food safety. Members will also shape NEFU's policy, the blueprint to its advocacy work in Washington, D.C., for the coming year.
NEFU is also encouraging farmers, consumers, and anyone who cares about local food to comment on supplemental food safety regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Please tell the FDA: Let our farm be a farm! The current proposed rules need to be modified. NEFU has complete instructions on how to comment, including a template with talking points on our website.
The time is NOW to speak out! Comments from farmers are the single most important way to fix the FSMA rules. The comment period ends December 15, 2014.
Kate Snyder is Director of Membership and Programs at New England Farmers Union.