Have you ever thought of adding agritourism to your livestock operation?
Traditionally agritourism has included efforts like farm stands or shops, U-pick, farm stays, tours, on-farm classes, fairs, festivals, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, winery weddings, orchard dinners, youth camps, barn dances, hunting or fishing, or guest ranches. Heritage ranch tours like was done last year at the Ford and Schmidbauer ranches are other examples.
The UC Small Farm program offers quite a bit of information on getting started in agritourism. Check out the website at: http://sfp.ucdavis.edu/agritourism/. In addition, there is statewide site that will help you promote either a one-time event or list your agritourism effort in a statewide directory that is sorted by county. The link for the free directory and the event listing is: http://ucanr.org/sites/CalAgTour/. This is a very cool resource for anyone interested in agritourism be they producer or the general public.
APHIS outlined its forthcoming animal disease traceability proposal to Secretary Tom Vilsack’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health. The animal traceability proposal is scheduled for publication in the Federal Register in April 2011. A Final Rule is expected in April of 2012. According to the draft proposal, cattle and bison traceability would be implemented in three stages:
Stage 1 – to take effect next year, would require official identification of all sexually intact cattle and bison 18 months of age or older moved in interstate commerce; dairy cattle of any age; cattle and bison of any age used for rodeo or recreational events; and cattle and bison of any aged used for shows or exhibitions.
Beef cattle under 18 months would be temporarily exempted from the requirement.
Stage 2 – scheduled for 2014, would access Stage 1 in order to determine implementation plan in Stage 3 for cattle under 18 months of age. APHIS expects a 70 percent compliance rate with the official identification requirements for all cattle eligible under Stage 1.
Stage 3 – at a future date to be arranged, would require identification of all cattle, including feeder cattle under 18 months old. The draft animal traceability proposal and a transcript of the advisory committee meeting are expected to be posted on the APHIS website at www.aphis.usda.gov, as reported by Food Chemical News.
Attention Horse Owners!
Manna Pro Products, LLC is voluntarily recalling a single lot (1006) of Family Farm Complete Horse 10 horse feed, UPC 0 95668 90151 6, packaged in 40 lb. bags because it may contain monensin sodium (Rumensin). Monensin sodium is a medication approved for use in some livestock and poultry species, but can be fatal to horses if fed at sufficiently high levels.
- Product: Family Farm Complete Horse 10 horse feed
- Distributed: To retailers in California, Nevada, and Oregon
- Why: It may contain monensin sodium (Rumensin), which can be fatal to horses if fed at sufficiently high levels
- Illnesses reported: None
On November 30th, the U.S. Senate approved the Food Safety Modernization Act by a vote of 73 to 25. The following information was prepared by Dani Friedland and appeared on the MeatingPlace.com web site. I think it is important information for livestock producers and others involved in the food industry and that’s why I’ve reposted here.
The legislation gives the Food and Drug Administration more authority, including the power to compel the mandatory recall of a contaminated food product and suspend a facility’s registration if a reasonable probability exists that the food it produces could cause serious health consequences or death.
It also increases the number of FDA inspections at food facilities and enhances surveillance systems for food-borne illness outbreaks. The bill also calls for the creation of a pilot project to test methods for quickly tracking and tracing food during food-borne illness outbreaks.
The bill also increases funding for the FDA, requires importers to verify the safety of imported food and calls for a national strategy to protect the food supply from terrorism.
Producers who sell directly to consumers and have less than $500,000 in annual sales will be exempted from some of the new regulations. These producers would still be subject to local and state food safety regulation, and the FDA would be able to withdraw the exemption if the farm or facility was associated with an outbreak of food-borne illness.
“For too long, we’ve allowed trips to the grocery store to be a gamble for American families,” Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a statement. “The bipartisan bill passed by the Senate today will give our citizens some long-overdue peace of mind in the supermarket aisles, establishing tough new protections against contaminated food.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said in debate earlier this month that the last substantial change to FDA food law was made in 1938.
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the legislation on March 3, 2009. The House of Representatives passed similar legislation in July 2009. (See “House passes food safety bill” on Meatingplace, July 31, 2009.)
Now the Senate and House must reconcile their versions of the food safety reforms by the end of the session. Some Democrats in the House would consider passing the Senate version to speed up the process, according to The New York Times.
The meat industry has been watching this legislation with great interest. Even though most of its regulation comes from USDA, some meat industry lobbyists believe the passage of these sweeping changes to FDA regulation could spawn calls for similar reforms at USDA.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack praised the Senate action, saying, “As a co-chair of President Obama’s Food Safety Working Group, I commend the Senate on today’s passage of the food safety bill. There is no more fundamental function of government than protecting consumers from harm, which is why food safety is one of USDA’s top priorities. The bill addresses longstanding challenges in the food safety and defense system by promoting a prevention-oriented approach and providing the Federal Government with appropriate tools to prevent foodborne illness.”
It was developed by Laurel Marcus in 1999 and sponsored for its first five years by the Sotoyome Resource Conservation District. Much of it was patterned after the UCCE Rangeland Water Quality Planning shortcourses. It focused initially on grapegrowers, and will now expand to grazed rangelands in the North Bay counties. A colleague of mine, Dr. Larry Ford, is a scientific advisor for development and implementation of the new program. For more information, go to http://www.fishfriendlyfarming.org/index.html.