farm worryIn recent years, agriculture in New Hampshire has undergone a transformation. This is following an explosion of farmers markets, vegetable stands, and farms stands, which has been fueled by the local food movement. The proposed food safety rules mainly target large-scale farmers in warm areas. For this reason, small-scale farmers feel that the proposed food safety regulations may imperil them. The New Hampshire Farm Bureau’s policy director, Rob Johnson, said that the proposal has raised a great concern and even some anxiety. The farm bureau comprises of approximately 3,100 members, with most members having hobby farms or small farms.

The farmers are worried that the rules’ specific aspects such as a 270-day waiting period following manure application on farms, weekly water sources’ testing, and some paperwork rules will discourage some people from practicing small-scale farming while doing insignificant improvements in food safety. The proposed rules’ comment period came to an end on 22nd November, a week following the set deadline. The deadline was pushed largely due to an extension request made by the United States Representative, Ann McLane Kuster. The officials are planning to convince the Food Drug and Administration to give a second comment period after release of the final rules. A number of agricultural groups in New England have also objected a few sections of the rules. They have claimed that the rules do not work with the short growing season of the region, as well as the fact that most people focus on direct-to-consumer and small-scale farming. The rules in question will be applied to vegetables, fruits and produce because of their potentiality to be concern areas. For instance, a huge recall was made following the discovery of salmonella bacteria in alfalfa sprouts packaged in Massachusetts.