The USDA's FSIS is holding 2 public meetings on proposed regulations to implement a new programme under which state-inspected establishments with 25 or fewer employees will be eligible to ship meat and poultry products in interstate commerce.
The announcement, which was made by Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, will implement a directive of the 2008 Farm Bill and is one component of USDA's "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative to help develop local and regional food systems and spur economic opportunity.
"Restoring the link between consumers and local producers will not only open new income opportunities for small farmers and generate wealth that will stay in rural communities, it will also expand access to healthy, fresh, and locally produced food," said Merrigan. "These meetings will help ensure that the proposed regulations successfully open doors for small meat and poultry establishments to provide safe products to their communities."
The meetings will be held by teleconference and will provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the proposed rule published on September 15, 2009. The first teleconference will be held on October 27, 2009, from 12:30-4:30 p.m. EDT, and the second will be held on November 5, 2009, from 12:30-4:30 p.m. EST.
Pre-registration is required to participate in these meetings. Click here for information about the meetings, how to register, and the agenda. Call-in information will be provided via e-mail to pre-registered participants.
For more info, visit FSIS.