Listening Session on New Produce Regulations Scheduled in Raleigh

Produce farmers and packers can learn more about the federal government’s proposed produce safety rule at a listening session Wednesday at the State Fairgrounds.

Individuals also will have the opportunity to ask questions during the session, which will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Scott Building.
At the meeting, Michael Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, and James Gorny, senior advisor for produce safety, will present information about the rule.

Individuals interested in attending the listening session are encouraged to register so organizers can plan accordingly. Anyone with questions about the event should contact Christina Waggett with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 919-707-3008.

White House Immigration Reform Plan Leaked to the Press

A newspaper report says that a draft of an immigration bill prepared by the White House lays out an eight-year process for illegal immigrants to become legal permanent residents.

In a story published online over the weekend, USA Today says the draft bill would allow illegal immigrants in the U.S. to apply for newly created "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" visas. The bill would also provide more security funding and require that businesses verify the immigration status of new hires within four years.

A White House spokesman, Clark Stevens, said in a statement that a final immigration bill has not been prepared but that progress is being made.

Monsanto vs Farmer to be Heard by Supreme Court

Vernon Hugh Bowman seems comfortable with the old way of doing things, right down to the rotary-dial telephone he said he was using in a conference call with reporters.

But the 75-year-old Indiana farmer figured out a way to benefit from a biotechnology product – Roundup resistant soybeans – without always paying the high price that such genetically engineered seeds typically brought. So now he's ignited a legal fight with seed-giant Monsanto Co. that has reached all the way to the Supreme Court, with argument taking place today.

The case poses the question of whether Bowman's actions violated patent rights held by Monsanto, by maintaining a long held practice of saving back seed from his own crop to plant the next without paying royalty fees to Monsanto.

Grower Info Sessions Offered for Produce Farmers

NCDA is hosting two grower information sessions for farmers interested in selling their products to Lowes Foods and Merchants Distributors Inc. The sessions have been developed out of the need to meet growing demand for locally sourced foods in grocery stores. The first session is today in Lillington and the second will be tomorrow in Kinston. The information sessions will address guidelines Lowe’s Foods requires to sell in its stores. Each meeting will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include lunch. There is no charge for the event, but registration is requested. For more information visit our calendar.

SC Farmers Invited to Listening Session on New Produce Rules

South Carolina farmers, growers, and producers interested in learning more about the proposed Fresh Produce Rule are invited to attend a listening and feedback session Wednesday at the South Carolina Farm Bureau.

The proposed Fresh Produce Rule is part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and is significant because it will bring major changes to our country’s food safety system. Session participants can share their thoughts and concerns with representatives from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) and industry leaders.

SCDA encourages growers to attend this live web stream session. U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials will take part in a question and answer session with those in attendance. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture is hosting the session.

The listening and feedback session is from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the SC Farm Bureau in Cayce. For more information contact SCDA’s Fred Broughton at 803-734-2224 or visit our calendar. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.