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Workshop to Prepare Farmers for Implementation of Federal Food Safety Law

For Immediate Release: Ocotober 8, 2013
Contact: Jeffrey Beach

(TRENTON) -- The New Jersey Department of Agriculture, New Jersey Farm Bureau and Rutgers University’s New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station are co-sponsoring an informational meeting on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for farmers in New Jersey, Delaware and Eastern Pennsylvania on Tuesday, October 22, beginning at 8 a.m.

The meeting, to be held at the Rutgers EcoComplex in Columbus, New Jersey, will include presentations on FSMA from key personnel on the topic for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the agricultural community, followed by a nearly two-hour Panel Discussion and Q&A Session dedicated to the topic of what FSMA means in practical terms for New Jersey’s farmers.

FSMA, which was passed and signed into law in 2011, requires the FDA to propose and adopt food-safety rules and regulations for all levels of the food system in the United States and will, for the first time, see FDA inspecting farms as well as processing facilities. Questions have been raised by national agricultural groups on many points in the rules that have been proposed so far, especially regarding when farms might be determined to move from solely a farm to a “mixed use” facility or even to the level of a processor, depending on what activities occur there.

The event is free, but pre-registration is required, as space is limited. To pre-register, please call the New Jersey Department of Agriculture at 609-292-8896, or e-mail the Department at:

The agenda for the day is as follows:

The Food Safety Modernization Act on The Farm

What Does It Mean For Your Operation?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 – Rutgers EcoComplex, Columbus, N.J.

8-8:30            Sign-In (Coffee to be served in lobby)

8:30-8:40       Welcoming RemarksNew Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher and New Jersey Farm Bureau President Ryck Suydam

8:40-9:15        FDA’s Approach on FSMA – Michael Mahovic, U.S. Food and Drug Administration  

9:15-9:30        The Effect of FSMA on New Jersey FarmsDr. Wes Kline, NJAES

9:30-10:05      Defining Terms: What Do These Things Mean?Joe Reardon, North Carolina Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services


10:05-11:45    Panel Discussion/Q&A – What Are the Options for New Jersey Farmers?

11:45-12         Closing Remarks/Next Steps